Eta leaves parts of Central America underwater

Swathes of the Central American coast were underwater on Thursday (November 5) after Storm Eta unleashed torrential rains and catastrophic flooding.

In Honduras, cars sat almost submerged and mudslides have buried homes. Families waded waist-high through flooded streets.

In the country's rural area of Pimienta homes were left underwater and residents were cut off by rising floodwaters.

Obidio Vazquez was one of the residents devastated by the storm.

"Eta has been very painful. The flooding happened so quickly. We couldn't believe it. We were sleeping at midnight when we had to race out with just this, nothing more. It was hard for us to open the door because it was filled with water."

More than 70 people have died from Eta's fury so far. The storm first made landfall in Nicaragua on Tuesday as a Category 4 Hurricane.

Winds reached speeds of 150 miles per hour. The storm has weakened since then, but continued to wreak havoc in neighboring countries along the Atlantic coast.

By Thursday, several people had been reported dead and missing in Costa Rica and Panama.

Guatemala's disaster relief agency said some 15 homes were covered by mudslides, possibly affecting around 75 people and in Honduras, President Juan Orlando Hernandez deployed speedboats and helicopters to rescue residents in areas still inaccessible by road.

Eta was moving towards the Caribbean overnight, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The storm is forecast to return to sea and regain momentum as a tropical storm, possibly reaching the Cayman Islands, Cuba and southern Florida in the coming days.