Hurricanes Add More Damage to Central America

Photo Credit: Delmar Martinez

Sara Molina – Staff Writer

Two weeks after Hurricane Eta, category 5 Hurricane Iota landed in Central America Nov. 16 causing more damage to those already affected.

Over 40 deaths have been confirmed in Nicaragua, where Hurricane Iota made landfall, with more than 400,000 people effected by the storm and in shelters, according to CNN. The Nicaragua government has considered Iota to be the strongest to hit the country in their history.

Hurricane Iota is the second hurricane to strike Central American this month.  People have yet to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Eta.

“Eta arrived at the worst time, making life harder for millions of people already hard hit by years of erratic weather and the socioeconomic crisis COVID-19 caused,” said Miguel Barreto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Hurricane Eta resulted in flooding and destruction of homes forcing people to evacuate. Eta also stopped the work force, which for some in Honduras finally opened since the start of the pandemic.

The pandemic had brought Honduras’ already poor country into a deep recession.  Hurricane Eta added an additional loss of $2.5-$5 billion to the economy. Iota’s contribution is projected to double those numbers, according to The Guardian.

“I had gone seven months without work and three days after I got called back this flooding happened.  We have family and children. How are we going to feed them,” said Nery Benitez, baggage handler at San Pedro Sula’s airport.

Shelters in the city of San Pedro Sula are holing as many as 100,000 people at a time with no room for social distancing and a shortage of food, water and medicine. Those that aren’t able to find room at a shelter stay under highways, as reported by ABC News.

The US Agency for International Development has announced that they’ve provided $17 million in humanitarian aid to help Central America.  The US Department of Defense have also done their humanitarian part and dropped 90,000lbs of food for the people of Honduras.

Organizations are reaching out to the public for donations:

  • International Red Cross donations will help with food and shelter to those affected by the hurricane
  • GlobalGiving donations will help with immediate need of victims then to support the long-term recovery
  • Save the Children donations will help with the needs of children and their families

All donations can made on their official website.