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Cesar ravages Central America

A Caribbean-born hurricane emerged newly potent in the Pacific on Monday after killing at least 35 people and leaving thousands homeless in its sweep across northern Colombia and Central America.

Renamed Hurricane Douglas from Hurricane Cesar because of the change in oceans, the storm was about 330 miles west of Guatemala City at midday Monday, menacing Mexico's Pacific Coast.

COSTA RICA: Eleven people died from heavy flooding in the south. The Red Cross said 39 other people were missing, including 10 caught in a mudslide that buried a house in Terrazu, 40 miles south of the capital, San Jose.

"I was outside my house fixing a fence when I heard a roar and felt the ground shake. Then I saw this mountain of earth bury my house and all my family inside," Rigoberto Calderon said.

Swollen rivers jumped their banks Sunday night and left a still-uncounted number of injured and homeless.

"Dozens of homes were washed away, some with entire families inside, so we still don't know how many people were killed," said Carlos Quesada, director of the National Emergency Commission.

Much of the flooding was reported around Perez Zeledon, 70 miles south of San Jose.

NICARAGUA: The government declared an emergency and sent army helicopters with food, medicine and blankets to flooded areas.

Four people died, including two youths who drowned and a boy who was asphyxiated in the chaos of an evacuation in a crowded truck. No details were available about the fourth death.

At least 10,000 Nicaraguans were left homeless by flooding. Schools closed Monday in much of Nicaragua. Health Minister Federico Munoz said outbreaks of cholera and other diseases were feared in some remote areas.

EL SALVADOR: Nine people were killed when they were buried by mudslides in Jose Cecilio del Valle. Four more drowned in other parts of the country.

Saturday, Cesar was blamed for 11 deaths in Colombia, including eight children who died in an avalanche blamed on Cesar's heavy rains.

After dissipating during its trip across the isthmus, the storm reorganized Monday in waters considerably warmer than its Caribbean birthplace. Warmer waters mean more energy for the hurricane.

The Mexican government issued a tropical storm warning from Salina Cruz to Acapulco as the hurricane headed west.

_ Information from the Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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