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Photo from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Thursday. (AP photo / NASA)

Hurricane Adrian has spared El Salvador after lashing its coast, forcing the evacuation of 23,000 people.

At least two people are dead but the hurricane did little damage as it moved over to neighbouring Honduras, causing some flooding and blocked roads.

A military pilot died Wednesday when his small plane crashed as he was flying it from San Salvador's civilian airport to a military base as a precaution against heavy winds. One person drowned Thursday night during flooding in the capital.

Adrian made landfall on the coast, west of the capital of San Salvador, overnight Thursday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported maximum sustained winds of almost 120 kilometres per hour.

The storm weakened significantly on Friday and many people returned to their homes.

President Ricardo Maduro of Honduras said their were no deaths or damage linked to the hurricane in his country.

In neighbouring Guatemala, two workers died when the ditch they were digging collapsed. It was only raining lightly at the time and officials say it is unclear whether the collapse was because of the rain.

Adrian is the eastern Pacific's first named hurricane of the season and forecasters say that while it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, it could still cause much damage.