Hurricanes in Central America: more than 200 dead and millions of dollars in damage

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Hurricanes Eta and Iota left more than 200 dead and an unknown number missing, as well as millions of dollars in damage devastating Central America this month, according to reports drawn up a week later.

Eta and Iota followed each other less than a fortnight apart following the same trajectory, leaving in their wake catastrophic floods, landslides and destruction in Central America and on the Colombian Caribbean islands.

Hurricane Eta first struck from November 3, when it made landfall on the coast of Nicaragua in category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which has 5. Iota followed on November 16, at the height of the destructive power of a hurricane, pouring torrential rains on already soggy land.

Honduras has paid the heaviest price: floods and landslides left 94 dead and 8 missing, according to official figures. Residents of the San Pedro Sula Valley – industrial capital and second largest city in the country – which was submerged by water, however, assure that many corpses could not be identified and counted.

The Honduran Civil Protection has counted 3.9 million people affected, including 154,000 of them who had to leave their 70,000 destroyed or uninhabitable houses. Nearly 300 roads were damaged, 48 bridges destroyed and 32 others were damaged by flooding rivers.

Sunken indigenous village

Guatemala deplores for its part 60 dead and a hundred missing after the passage of two cyclones, which affected 2.1 million people. The final toll of a landslide that engulfed dozens of houses in an indigenous village has not yet been established and could amount to more than a hundred dead.

In addition, 274,829 people were evacuated, according to Conred, the Guatemalan disaster prevention organization, which also notes damage to 211 roads and nearly 100 bridges.

Nicaragua also suffered landslides and floods that killed 21 people. More than three million people have been affected by the passage of cyclones which caused damage of $ 742 million, according to the government. Nearly 2,000 km of roads and 106 bridges were destroyed or damaged, as well as schools, clinics and hospital in Bilwi, the Caribbean port city that took the full brunt of the first shock of the two hurricanes.

In Panama, Eta and Iota left more than twenty dead and ten missing in their wake, and caused significant damage, especially in the province of Chiriqui and in the indigenous region of Näbe-Buglé (west).

Costa Rica has especially suffered from the passage ofEta, which left two dead in the south, near the Panamanian border. The torrential rains from the two cyclones also damaged 264 roads and 11 bridges, and 29 villages were isolated from the world, while 2,056 people had to be evacuated, especially on the Pacific coast and in the south of the country, according to civil protection. The damage caused to the roads is estimated at 15 million dollars.

El Salvador, the least affected country, however, deplores two deaths.

Before hitting Central America, in the Caribbean Sea, hurricanes devastated the Colombian islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, killing two.

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