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PANAMA CITY -- Flooding forced the closure of the Panama Canal Wednesday for the first time in 21 years and heavy rains were being blamed for at least eight deaths in the Central American country.
More than a thousand people in Panama were evacuated because of what authorities called historic flooding caused by record rainfall.
President Ricardo Martinelli said it was the first time the canal was closed because of weather since it opened in 1914.
"Our meteorologists says it's never rained so