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Panama Canal opens after flood forced closure

December 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The Panama Canal reopened Thursday after its first shut down in more than two decades. The passageway had to be closed to ships on Wednesday as it swelled with flood waters.

That was only the third shutdown in the canal's 96-year history and the first due to bad weather.

Meteorologists said the region received its heaviest rains ever since they began keeping records 73 years ago.

At least eight people have been killed and more than 1,000 had to be evacuated due to the flooding.