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UPDATE 1-Storm Iota dissipates over El Salvador, leaves floods and more than 20 dead

(Update number of victims, change origin)

By Gustavo Palencia and Ismael López

TEGUCIGALPA / MANAGUA, Nov 18 (.) – Storm Iota dissipated on Wednesday in the mountains of El Salvador, leaving mudslides, floods, thousands of victims and at least 24 dead in Central America, which was still suffering the effects of another recent cyclone.

Iota, the strongest hurricane to hit Nicaragua in recorded history, hit the Caribbean coast of that country on Monday, with winds of 250 kilometers per hour (km / h) just two weeks after Cyclone Eta hit the region causing more than 100 deaths and dozens missing.

Now, Honduras and Nicaragua are struggling to cope with the devastating floods that Iota has left in its advance through the impoverished area.

The vice president of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo, reported that the bodies of eight victims of a landslide in the northern municipality of La Dalia were recovered. In the Carazo department, in the south of the country, a mother and her four children lost their lives after being swept away by a rising river.

Three other deaths have been reported in different parts of the territory due to the storm, said Murillo.

In Honduras, five members of a family, including two adults and three children, were buried by an avalanche of mud and stones that washed away their home in the remote village of Los Trapiches, near the border with El Salvador and Guatemala, authorities reported. local.

Despite the fading of Iota, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said “the danger of heavy rain” that could trigger floods and landslides in Central America and southern Mexico continued until Thursday.

Authorities in El Salvador have so far reported one storm-related death and hundreds of refugees. In Panama, the Government reported two deaths.

The remnants of Iota were located 35 kilometers from San Salvador and were moving west towards the Pacific Ocean at a speed of 19 km / h, the NHC said.

In early November, the powerful storm Eta made landfall in Nicaragua. In the following days, the cyclone advanced through the region, discharging powerful rains, at least 2.5 million affected and infrastructure destroyed from Panama to southern Mexico.

The current Atlantic hurricane season has broken records for the number of named storms, which now number 30 after the appearance of Iota. Some scientists point to the increase in ocean temperatures as a culprit due to human-caused climate change. (With additional reporting by Wilmer López, in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, Nelson Renteria in San Salvador, Sofía Menchú in Guatemala City, Elida Moreno in Panama City and Álvaro Murillo in San José; Written by Diego Oré and Noé Torres in Ciudad de Mexico)