Central American Storms Leave a Dozen Dead, 100,000 Affected

  • In El Salvador, the Civil Protection Directorate said at least six people died and 1,850 people were distributed to 17 shelters in different areas of the country.
  • Guatemala has more than one hundred thousand people affected by the rains.
  • In Nicaragua, at least two people lost their lives and 534 families were evacuated.

A pair of low pressure systems has left eleven dead, more than 3,000 people sheltered, and 100,000 directly affected in Central America this month. One system hit off the coast of El Salvador, another struck Nicaragua, causing floods, landslides, and overflowing rivers.

The Permanent Contingency Commission of Honduras (COPECO) is an entity created to coordinate public and private disaster relief efforts in the framework of the National Risk Management System of Honduras. COPECO is part of a Central American network of governmental disaster relief agencies known as the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America.

In El Salvador, the Civil Protection Directorate said at least six people died and 1,850 people were distributed to 17 shelters in different areas of the country. In other emergencies, the government attended 135 landslides that moved more than four thousand cubic meters of stones and earth. Nineteen sections of road were affected by the landslides and floods.

For its part, the Association of the Salvadoran Chamber and Small Agricultural Producers (CAMPO) estimates that some 183,060 quintals of beans have been lost due to the rains, which corresponds to 10 percent of the expected production of the second sowing. El Salvador is among the 50 most vulnerable countries to climate change, according to the latest Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index, based in Germany, 2016.

Meanwhile, Guatemala has more than one hundred thousand people affected by the rains. Official authorities reported one person died as a result of heavy rains. In 2018, according to statistics from the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, eight people died and almost 667,000 were affected by the rainy season, in addition to the damage suffered by at least 96 roads, nine bridges, ten schools, and more than a thousand homes.

In parallel, the Permanent Contingency Commission (COPECO) of Honduras issued a yellow alert in the departments of La Paz, Intibuca, Lempira, Ocotepeque, Copan, Valle (border with El Salvador) and Choluteca (with Nicaragua). The alert also covered several municipalities located on the banks of the Ulua River, one of the largest in the country. This entails preventive evacuations in regions at risk of landslides, floods or river overflow. In that country, there were two deaths and more than 700 people evacuated.

The Tempisque River, or Río Tempisque, is 144 kilometres (89 mi) long, located entirely in Costa Rica flowing from the Guanacaste Cordillera near the Orosí Volcano and emptying into the Gulf of Nicoya. It passes through the Palo Verde National Park and is an important habitat for various species of crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas and birds.

In Nicaragua, at least two people lost their lives and 534 families were evacuated, Vice President Rosario Murillo reported, through official means. The effects of persistent rains have occurred especially in municipalities in the central and southern areas of the country.

Heavy rains caused overflows in the Tempisque and La Palma rivers in Guanacaste in Costa Rica. Both the Costa Rican Red Cross and the National Emergency Commission (CNE) reported having attended multiple flood incidents in places such as Nosara de Nicoya and San Pablo de Nandayure.

Mexico prepares to 17-E

The Armed Forces and Civil Protection authorities were deployed preventively in southern Mexico due to the heavy rains caused by the meteorological phenomenon “17- E.” Civil Protection is deployed in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz and Michoacan “to coordinate actions and address possible effects that may occur” by the rains,  National Coordination said in a statement. The Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) confirmed the implementation of its Plan DN-III (National Defense) in the prevention phase in Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Tabasco, in the south and southeast of Mexico.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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