updated 11/26/2008 5:57:18 PM ET 2008-11-26T22:57:18

Authorities said at least eight people died and four more were missing in flooding and landslides in western Panama.

Panama's national civil protection service said that all the deaths occurred in the Caribbean coast provinces of Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui, which have been battered by a week of heavy rains.

The service said in a statement Wednesday that authorities were sending food and medicines by plane to Bocas del Toro, which was largely cut off by mudslides.

In neighboring Costa Rica, about 5,000 people have been forced from their homes by flooding. Authorities there declared a state of emergency.

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