Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli on Sunday declared three northern areas to be emergency zones after torrential rains caused at least two deaths, damaged the property of hundreds and flooded dozens of homes, authorities said.

Martinelli declared western part of Panama province and the province of Colon, specifically the districts of La Chorrera, Capira and Colon, to be emergency zones to facilitate getting aid to the people in the region and to repair roads and bridges damaged by the rain.

The president, accompanied by Housing Minister Jose Domingo Arias, Public Works Minister Jaime Ford and Foreign Minister Romulo Roux, toured parts of the affected region and expressed his condolences to the families of two people who died in a landslide in the town of Nueva Arenosa, near Capira.

On Sunday morning, Martinelli told reporters that he will convene the Cabinet Council to approve special aid to the people affected by the rains and flooding.

Dozens of homes were damaged in the districts of Capira, La Chorrera and Arraijan.

The Sinaproc national civil protection service said that the rain stems from a low pressure system that extends from Costa Rica to Colombia. EFE