Authorities in Nicaragua have declared a state of alert along the country's Pacific coast after heavy rain left at least nine people dead and four missing.

Days of torrential rains have caused overflowing rivers and landslides, destroying 22 homes, and displacing more than 3,000 people.

Civil defence authorities say the deaths were a result of reckless river crossings.

They also report that landslides have destroyed many coffee, banana and fruit plantations.

In the town of Malacatoya, some 30 kilometres south of the capital Managua, local television images on Friday showed residents getting onto a truck to be taken to shelters.