Fallen bridges hamper Guatemala storm rescue

Collapsed roads and highway bridges complicated rescue efforts in Guatemala on Tuesday after Tropical Storm Agatha drenched Central America, burying homes under mud and killing at least 180 people.

Dozens of people were still missing and rescue teams struggled to reach remote rural communities after the storm cut off roads and destroyed up to 18 major road bridges and dozens of smaller footbridges.

“We’re trying to get to the communities but we’re finding that bridges are down and we have to walk, so it is taking so much longer,” said firefighter Rony Veliz.

Some 35,000 people remained in emergency shelters three days after Agatha, the first named storm of the 2010 Pacific hurricane season, hit western Guatemala, dumping more than 3 feet (1 meter) of rain in places and raising concern over the coffee crop there and in El Salvador.

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