Flooding and mudslides fueled by heavy rains have claimed at least 23 lives in Honduras since last week, officials said on Wednesday. Eight other people are missing. Rain has destroyed about 24,000 houses and damaged 79,000 acres (32,000 hectares) planted with grains and coffee, emergency services official Randolfo Funez said. More than 19,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.
More rain is expected in eastern Honduras in coming days. Raging rivers and landslides have destroyed dozens of bridges and damaged more than 150 highways across the country. President Manuel Zelaya has declared a national state of emergency and asked for international aid.