Mexico and northern Central America are still staggering from the aftermath of the latest Gulf Coast tempest, Hurricane Stan. Some are already calling Stan’s impact worse than 1998’s Hurricane Mitch.

Stan hit along Mexico’s southern Veracruz coast on Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane, and was downgraded to a tropical storm shortly thereafter — but it’s the landslides and flooding from the resulting rains that have been devastating. In Guatemala, storm-induced rains only ended on Sunday, and the army began evacuating people stranded in remote towns and villages. As many as 1,400 are feared to have died in villages inundated by mudslides; the government says it will declare them hallowed ground, as mass graves. Thousands are displaced and many fear their livelihoods have been destroyed.

In Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, more than 100 have been reported killed and thousands displaced from flooded areas. In Mexico, the storm destroyed key crops including coffee, and about 300,000 people — primarily in the country’s poorest regions — were evacuated to shelters. About $1.85 billion will be needed to rebuild the hardest-hit areas, according to President Vincente Fox.

The Grist staff are taking the rest of the day off to go home and hug their kids and puppies.

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