Massive Flooding Hits Panama

December 1, 2006

PANAMA CITY – At least 11 people died, one was reported missing and thousands of others affected last week by the floods caused by heavy rains in Panama, officials reported Sunday.

Some 4,248 people have been affected by the natural disaster, including 1,345 who were left homeless, emergency services chief Roberto Velasquez said. He added that 799 dwellings were damaged and 257 destroyed by the heavy rains and flooding.

Velasquez said a state of emergency remains in effect for the provinces of Colón and Cocle, as well as north-western Panama.

The government is providing food and other items donated by residents of Panama City and other cities at drop-off sites to thousands of storm victims, Velasquez said.

Emergency services workers reached areas on Saturday that had been cut off by flooding and provided assistance to storm victims, the official said.

The U.S. military has sent 35 troops and three helicopters, and pledged $50,000 in “initial aid,” according to the Embassy.

 

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