1st LD: Tropical storm Iota leaves 14 dead in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Tropical storm Iota left at least 14 people dead and one person missing after battering Honduras with heavy rains, the Permanent Contingency Commission said on Thursday.

Some 96,684 people were evacuated to higher ground and 73,301 people accommodated at 822 shelters.

Iota left Honduras early Wednesday morning as a tropical storm headed for El Salvador, where it finally dissipated.

In terms of material damage, Copeco said six bridges were damaged and three destroyed, while 8,111 homes were affected, 153 damaged and 27 destroyed.

The country's northern Sula Valley was the hardest hit, with the Ramon Villeda Morales airport in San Pedro Sula inundated. Civil aviation authorities said it could take until Dec. 15 to reopen the airport.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez called on the international community and lending organizations to help support the reconstruction effort.

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