Tropical Storm Nate killed at least 22 people in Central America on Thursday as it pummeled the region with heavy rain while heading toward Mexico's Caribbean resorts and the U.S. Gulf Coast where it could strike as a hurricane this weekend.
In Nicaragua, at least 11 people died, seven others were reported missing and thousands had to evacuate homes because of flooding.
Emergency officials in Costa Rica reported that at least eight people, including two children, were killed due to the lashing rain. Authorities said another 17 people were missing, while more than 7,000 had to take refuge from Nate in shelters
Two youths also drowned in Honduras due to the sudden swell in a river, while a man was killed in a mudslide in El Salvador and another person was missing.
Costa Rica's government declared a state of emergency, closing schools and all other non-essential services.
The U.S. National Hurricane Centre says Nate is predicted to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by the time it hits the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday.