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Powerful winds ground at least 6 ships in Panama

posted: 3/7/2013
PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) -- Officials say powerful winds and waves caused by a cold front from North America have grounded at least six ships on the Caribbean coast of Panama.            

No injuries or environmental damage were immediately reported, although residents reported a smell of petroleum in the vicinity of a ship that appeared to have a ruptured hull.            

The ships include several massive cargo vessels stranded off the city of Colon, near the northern end of the Panama Canal. Officials reported 10 flooded homes and one person missing in the area due to strong weather. The ships were not traveling through the canal and traffic through the channel was not affected.

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