Torrential rains, flooding and mud slides in Honduras caused by a tropical depression have left 42 people dead and reportedly could have destroyed thousands of hectares of crops.

According to press reports from the country, the weather phenomenon, which also hit neighbouring Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, is said to have affected more than 250,000 people and has hit much of Honduras’ infrastructure, including bridges and roads.

Although a figure on the amount of crops affected has not yet been released, the damage is expected to be severe and there has already been speculation that the possible losses could exacerbate food shortages in the region, reports the Associated Press.

Honduran president Manuel Zelaya has declared a national state of emergency and named commissioners from the government to spearhead recovery efforts in affected regions. He has also appealed for international aid to help the victims of the disaster.