10 Nov 2009

Hurricane Ida downgraded to storm

10:36 pm on 10 November 2009

Hurricane Ida, which left death and destruction in El Salvador three days ago, was downgraded to a tropical storm as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico on Monday local time.

Warnings have been lifted for the US coastline between Louisiana and Florida, although about 30% of the Gulf's oil production was shut down because of the storm.

The death toll across El Salvador after days of heavy rainstorms attributed to Hurricane Ida stands at at least 130 people, the BBC reports.

President Mauricio Funes has declared a national emergency, describing the damage as "incalculable".

The areas around El Salvador's capital San Salvador and the central province of San Vicente were hit hardest.

A torrent of mud and boulders from the Chichontepec volcano wrecked 300 homes and buried cars.