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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007, 01:41 GMT 02:41 UK
Nicaragua storm death toll rises
A woman stands on a fallen tree after Hurricane Felix passed in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua
Up to 50,000 people were displaced by Felix
The death toll from Hurricane Felix has risen to at least 38 people, with more than 200 missing, authorities in Nicaragua have said.

The storm hit land in north-east Nicaragua on Tuesday as a maximum strength category-five hurricane before dissipating to a tropical depression.

Felix destroyed thousands of flimsy homes on the Central American country's low-lying Caribbean coast.

It comes just two weeks after Hurricane Dean killed more than 20 in the region.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Henriette, which killed seven people in its march up the Pacific Coast, was poised to hit Mexico for the second time in two days.

'Serious damage'

The weaker category-one hurricane is close to Mexico's north-west coast and packing winds up to 75mph (120 km/h), according to the US National Hurricane Center.

Officials in Nicaragua have been counting the cost of the damage caused by Felix.

Up to 9,000 homes, many of them built of wood and tin, were destroyed and as many as 50,000 people were displaced by the hurricane.

The storm also struck Honduras, where up to 20,000 people were evacuated from coastal areas.

We are getting information of bodies floating in the water
Reynaldo Francis
Regional governor

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said on a visit to the devastated coastal city of Puerto Cabezas: "There are more than 200 people missing. We are talking about really serious damage."

Reynaldo Francis, governor of Nicaragua's impoverished North Atlantic Autonomous Region, which was worst hit by the hurricane, said the death toll was expected to rise.

"We are getting information of bodies floating in the water," he said.

Among the dead were a newborn girl, a man who drowned when his boat capsized and a woman killed when a tree fell on her house.

Fishing communities of Miskito Indians, many of whom refused to flee before Felix hit, were particularly badly affected.

Correspondents say the storm revived memories throughout Central America of Hurricane Mitch, which killed some 10,000 people in 1998.

Map showing paths of Felix and Henriette




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Storm clean-up begins in Nicaragua



SEE ALSO
Felix slams into Central America
04 Sep 07 |  Americas
Hurricane churns up the Caribbean
19 Aug 07 |  Americas
Dean continues to batter Mexico
24 Aug 07 |  Americas
Felix surges to maximum strength
03 Sep 07 |  Americas

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