11 members of family die in Panama flooding

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panamanian officials traveled Monday to a remote riverside community where floodwaters over the weekend drowned 11 members of a family, nine of them children.

The victims were among 17 family members whose thatch-roofed, elevated home gave way to the swollen waters of the Bejuco River in central Panama.

Carlos Rumbo, director of the National Protection System, said the children were between the ages of 4 and 12 years old. Two women, one of them pregnant, also drowned. The last victim was recovered late Sunday.

The family had climbed atop the structure, but the wood frame collapsed, tossing them all back into the water. They lived in the Calovebora community in Veraguas province.

President Laurentino Cortizo said in a statement that he regretted the deaths and promised to send assistance to family.

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