Torrential rains and flooding in September and the first half of October have affected the country, particularly in the Sula Valley, in the north, near the industrial city of San Pedro de Sula. High waters and mudslides have also affected the capital, Tegucigalpa, and its surrounding areas. Mass evacuation of people has been effected and a number of casualties reported. A state of emergency has been declared by the Government, and relief and food assistance from the international community has been distributed to the victims. Significant damage to housing and infrastructure is also reported in the most affected areas, which had been severely affected last year by hurricane "Mitch". A preliminary assessment of damage to the agricultural sector indicates that about 8 000 hectares of basic grains have been affected due to the incessant rains and flooding, also previously affected by drought. Damage has also been inflicted on banana, sugar cane and African palm plantations, the main agricultural exports of the country. Harvesting of the 1999/2000 first season cereal crops was near completion and planting of the second season crops had only started when the adverse weather struck. Below-average outputs for the year, close to 1998/99 hurricane affected crops, are forecast. Assessments for the rehabilitation of the agricultural sector are also being conducted.