Deadly storm lashes Guatemala amid volcanic eruption


A powerful tropical storm has struck Guatemala, bringing torrential rains that have added to the disruption caused by an erupting volcano.

At least 13 people have died in mudslides and floods caused by tropical storm Agatha, which swept in from the Pacific Ocean.

There have also been three deaths in neighbouring El Salvador.

The storm is dissipating over the mountains of western Guatemala, but heavy rains have continued.

Parts of the country have already received their highest rainfall in more than 60 years, according to Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom.

image caption, Guatemala City airport remains closed

Roads and bridges have been destroyed, leaving some areas completely cut off.

More than 70,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

Four children died when a mudslide buried their home in Santa Catarina Pinula, on the outskirts of Guatemala City, officials said.

Elsewhere in the capital, four people died when flood water swept through their homes.

Honduras and parts of southern Mexico have also been affected.

The rains have complicated efforts to clear up ash from the Pacaya volcano in southern Guatemala, which began erupting on Thursday.

Guatemala's main airport will remain closed for at least five days while workers clear the runways.

A state of emergency declared because of the volcanic eruption has been extended across the country.

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