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roulettewheelhowtoplay|Heavy rains in El Salvador leave 11 dead, 800 displaced


SAN SALVADORroulettewheelhowtoplay, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Torrential downpours hitting El Salvador since Friday have claimed 11 lives and forced over 880 people to evacuate, the National Civil Protection Commission said Monday.

Luis Alonso Amaya, director of the National Civil Protection System, told a press conference that three minors were among the fatal victims, and falling trees were to blame for several of the deaths.

Interior Minister Juan Carlos Bidegain said more than 117 existing shelters can house up to 6,400 people. Currently, 34 of these shelters are in use, providing accommodation for 882 people, including 443 adults and 439 minors.

To help safeguard lives, the Legislative Assembly on Sunday declared a 15-day state of national emergency, Bidegain added.

According to Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Fernando Lopez, several parts of the country have seen continuous rainfall for more than 16 hours, especially in the west.

roulettewheelhowtoplay|Heavy rains in El Salvador leave 11 dead, 800 displaced

"We will have quite strong accumulations (of rain) during the week, especially in the coastal and volcanic area," Lopez said, adding that weather conditions could begin to improve by Wednesday.

This round of heavy rains in El Salvador was caused by two low-pressure systems over the Central American region, which could lead to a cyclone in the next 48 hours, according to weather forecasts.

The Salvadoran government said the rains have so far caused 42 landslides.

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