Oct. 5 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Nate has killed at least 11 people and disappeared several others in Central America, government sources said Thursday, as the storm continues to move towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Nicaraguan Vice President and First Lady Rosario Murillo said Nate was to blame for at least four deaths and nine disappearances, reported El Nuevo Diario. Murillo added that three of the disappeared were Health Ministry workers who were washed away in a current in Juigalpa, located in central Nicaragua.
In Costa Rica, six people have been confirmed dead, 400,000 are without running water and thousands more are sleeping in shelters, the National Emergency Commission said, according to the BBC.
Rescue efforts in both countries have been underway since the storm passed through, and Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis said on Twitter that more than 2000 people have been rescued in the country.
September and October are the wettest rainy season months for Central America but this year has seen unusually high precipitation. For the past two weeks, those rains have been the severest rains of the year, causing extensive damage to homes and roads and making Tropical Storm Nate’s timing even more precarious.
The storm now heads to the U.S. Gulf Coast, which has also been hit hard by storms this year and government leaders are getting prepared.
Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Thursday and mobilized 1,300 National Guard troops, WDSU reported.
“We have to take this seriously and get prepared now,” he said.