Image: Honduras flood
Delmer Martinez  /  AP
Residents wade a flooded street in La Lima Cortes, Honduras, on Tuesday.
updated 10/23/2008 10:39:48 AM ET 2008-10-23T14:39:48

Flooding and mudslides fueled by heavy rains have claimed at least 23 lives in Honduras since last week, officials said Wednesday. Eight other people are missing.

Rain has destroyed about 24,000 houses and damaged 79,000 acres planted with grains and coffee, emergency services official Randolfo Funez said. More than 19,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

More rain is expected in eastern Honduras in coming days.

Raging rivers and landslides have destroyed dozens of bridges and damaged more than 150 highways across the country.

President Manuel Zelaya has declared a national state of emergency and asked for international aid.

Two large landslides blocked the Coyol River in western Honduras, forming a lake 150 nearly 500 feet deep at some points and threatening towns downstream.

U.S. soldiers stationed in Honduras have plucked dozens of people off the roofs of their homes in flooded communities.

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