Diplomatic Channel

20 people killed as storm Nate hits Central America

No fewer than 20 people have been killed as Tropical Storm Nate washed away parts of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras.

Reports say the storm is heading north towards the U.S.

Meanwhile, a state of emergency has been declared in the Central American nations, where more than 20 people are missing.

It has caused heavy rains, landslides and floods which are blocking roads, destroying bridges and damaging houses.

Nearly 400,000 people are without running water and thousands are sleeping in shelters in Costa Rica.

The storm also affected Nicaragua killing at least 11 people, with extensive damage done to country’s infrastructure.

Three lives were also lost in Honduras, with several others reported missing.

More than a dozen national parks popular with tourists have been closed as a precaution.

Forecasters say Nate will gain strength and become a category 1 hurricane before it makes landfall on the southern coast of the United States on Sunday.

Oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico says they are evacuating staff from platforms which lie along the predicted path of the storm.