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Ida kills 124 in El Salvador, storm could reach US Tuesday

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Henry Romero/REUTERS

(Read caption) A rescue worker looks into a damaged house Monday in the village of Verapaz, near San Salvador. Hurricane Ida roared through the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday triggering floods and mudslides that killed 124 people in El Salvador.

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MORELIA, MEXICO – The first hurricane to pose a threat to the Gulf of Mexico's oil and natural gas production this season has weakened to a tropical storm after triggering floods and mudslides that killed at least 124 people in El Salvador Sunday.

El Salvador President Mauricio Funes called hurricane Ida a “disaster” with “incalculable” damage. Dozens are still missing.

In preparation for the storm, US oil companies began shutting down their production Saturday, evacuating workers.

“We've had a very busy day," Jim Shugart, executive vice president of marketing for ERA Helicopters of Lake Charles, Louisiana, told Reuters Sunday. "We started Saturday. They've been flying all day."

The Gulf accounts for 25 percent of domestically produced oil in the US and 14 percent of natural gas.

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