This week it was inundated again as Hurricane Iota struck. While the arrival of two such powerful storms just two weeks apart was an almost unprecedented natural disaster in Honduras, many of the affected believe the authorities have abandoned them to their fate. Hurricane Eta has further devastated the country. Most residents in already flooded areas needed little persuasion to evacuate before Iota hit. Iota arrived Monday evening with winds of 155 mph (250 kph), hitting nearly the same location as Hurricane Eta two weeks earlier. Duncan Tucker is Amnesty International’s media manager for the Americas. On November 3, Hurricane Eta made landfall as a Category 4 storm, causing landslides and … About 2.9 million people in Honduras were affected by Eta, according to the country’s emergency response unit, including many like Benitez whose homes were flooded to the rooftops. Marlon Matute, of representative of the San Pedro Sula mayor’s office, affirms that the local government has opened 100 municipal shelter across the city and is providing financial support, food and hygiene products to those affected. In addition to these figures, some 20 schools, 51 buildings, 84 bridges and 218 roads were damaged in the country. Privacy Policy Honduras + 1 more. “The only option I have left is to emigrate to the United States. The estimated economic loss from Hurricane Eta ranges from 10%-20% of Honduras’ GDP, or roughly $5 billion dollars. 11/7/2020: Honduras was hit hard by Hurricane Eta last week causing major flooding. Hurricane Iota is now growing strong and is set to hit Monday (11/16/2020) and travel the same path causing even more flooding in areas that are still 6 to 8 ft. underwater. Thousands were still recovering from being trapped on their rooftops by Eta, causing nearby levees to fail and flooding neighbourhoods so fast there was no time to escape. Citing the scientists who have linked climate change to the extreme force of the hurricanes that have hurt Central America so badly in recent months, Zúñiga affirms that “we must hold accountable the large countries and economic powers who have produced these results, as well as the process of so-called ‘modernization’, so that the people who have contributed most to the defence of the earth stop suffering the effects of the pollution caused by those who shirk their responsibility.”, Zúñiga concludes by warning that “as long as the pollution continues, as long as the depredation continues, as long as the rights of those who continue defending the earth are not recognized, our prospects will remain bleak. The hurricanes brought damaging winds, life-threatening storm surge and flash flooding to the region. When it rains it pours in Honduras, a country that had already suffered multiple crisis in recent years: state repression, gang violence, economic problems, environmental destruction, mass emigration and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. San Pedro Sula and El Progreso are among the most severely affected communities. Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, daughter of the environmental defender Berta Cáceres, who was murdered in 2016 because of her opposition to the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam, believes the destruction caused by the hurricanes was exacerbated by recent Honduran government policies. Iota, a Category 4 hurricane, followed a similar path as Hurricane Eta moving west, bringing devastation. My house is still flooded, it flooded again when Iota struck. Guatemala, which was affected to a much lesser extent by the hurricanes, has already requested TPS for its citizens in the US. Juana Tabora knew she had to help her neighbours when the water began to flood the streets, blocking the exits in La Lima, her city in northwestern Honduras. Many people are living on the second floor of their homes because they have no where to go. Honduras is expected to make a similar request for those not covered. Two days before the first hurricane arrived, the Honduran government was still promoting a tourism fair to revive the economy, instead of warning the population to take preventive measures. Honduras. How can I set them free when they’re all I have? Sat on a red sofa beneath the bridge, Zaida Ramos, a single mother of two, agrees: “The government hasn’t given us a bite to eat around here, it’s just the people helping the people. The stench of mud and dead animals lingers everywhere. You can use this tool to change your cookie settings. In Honduras, opposing the exploitation of the land, and the violation of the rights of its inhabitants, means risking one’s life. Iota flooded stretches of Honduras still underwater from Hurricane Eta, after it hit Nicaragua Monday evening as a Category 4 hurricane and weakened as it … In Honduras, we are providing blankets, hygiene kits, and kitchen supplies. "It is possible that Iota could track north of Honduras, allowing the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Eta to be spared," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob … These catastrophes submerged the country underwater and displaced almost a third of the population. The best way is to migrate.”, Hurricane Iota wreaks havoc across Central America – in pictures, Hurricane Iota has left the Planeta municipality in La Lima, Honduras, submerged in water. We continue to assess damage from Eta and Iota around San Pedro Sula in order to determine where to provide additional relief. Two weeks later, it’s still raining hard and the family remains in the funeral home, without any support from the state. Hurricane Iota made a catastrophic landfall on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua last week, just 13 days after Hurricane Eta’s landfall. Quincy, WA 36° F Shelters for people whose homes were flooded or damaged by hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras are now so crowded that thousands of victims have taken refuge under highway overpasses or bridges. Eta is the strongest hurricane to ravage Honduras since Mitch in 1998, which killed over 7,000 people. Just two weeks after Hurricane Eta brought widespread flooding and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, Honduras was battered by a second hurricane, leaving a level of destruction in its wake that rivals the worst natural disasters in the region’s history. According to Global Witness, 14 environmental defenders were murdered there last year, the highest per capita rate in the world. “The people have no rights, no health, no work, no nothing,” he adds, as he savours a baleada donated by a passer-by. Permissions Tropical Storm Iota was brewing in the Caribbean Sea early Saturday, threatening a second tropical strike for Nicaragua and Honduras, countries recently ransacked by a Category 4 Hurricane Eta. By November 17, 700 people had relocated from their homes. However, the government has so far refused to sign the Escazú Agreement, a regional treaty on environmental rights and the protection of environmental activists, which has been ratified by 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries since its adoption in 2018. Alberto López Ocampo, a farmer from the Asentamientos Humanos neighbourhood, has been sleeping on a mattress there for 15 days, beside the 11 geese, 25 hens and 40 ducks he was able to save from the roof of his house. He described Hurricane Iota as a “catastrophic situation unfolding for northern Honduras with an extreme storm surge of 15- to 20-foot forecast along with destructive winds and potentially 30 inches of rainfall, and it is exacerbated by the fact that it should make landfall in almost the exact same location that Category 4 Hurricane Eta did about two weeks ago.” I couldn’t get in when Donald Trump was in charge... he didn’t give anybody a chance to work there, but now things are going to change with Joe Biden.”. Back then the international community rushed in with billions in aid. Martínez laments that the government has not taken differentiated measures that take into account the needs of LGBT people, as well as those of other marginalized populations, such as indigenous peoples and people with disabilities. This time around global attention – and depleted finances – are focused on the coronavirus pandemic, and there is an absence of US leadership to mobilise support. Article share tools. “There’s no food, nowhere to bathe, no electricity,” Donaire says. “All the shelters are conducting daily medical evaluations and testing every patient suspected of having COVID, both with rapid antigen tests and real-time PCR tests,” Nolasco says. Nery Benitez was working shifts as a baggage handler at San Pedro Sula’s airport when it got flooded by Hurricane Eta. “It’s a clear sign of imbalance and an urgent warning to seek a more harmonious and respectful relationship with nature. Save the Children has already dispatched front-line workers to more than 20 communities that were severely impacted by Hurricane Eta, and will extend its reach to support victims of Iota. Many had waited for days to be rescued.   |   The national authorities say they saved 34 people stranded on rooftops using military and civilian helicopters, as well as carrying out two aquatic rescues. But the main concern remains the pandemic that has claimed nearly 3,000 lives and brought more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 to a nation of 9.5 million people. Over 3 million people have been affected by Eta. At least 90% of La Lima, home to 40,000 people, was under water on Wednesday. The last time Honduras suffered a natural disaster of this scale was in 1998, when Hurricane Mitch – the worst natural disaster in Central American history and one of the deadliest Atlantic storms ever – devastated much of the country’s infrastructure. Much of the valley, just like La Lima, is under water. Read more. USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance is providing life-saving assistance to people affected by severe flooding, landslides, and damage caused by Tropical Storm Eta. Honduras: Tormentas Tropicales Eta e Iota - Informe de Situación No. . Around 30 families took refuge there after losing their homes to the hurricanes Eta and Iota, which devastated large swathes of Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua in the first weeks of November. Hurricanes Iota and Eta deal Honduras a catastrophic double-blow. “I came racing out with my four children when the water started to rise at eight in the evening,” says López, who had to later to separate from his family to look after their livestock. Hurricane Iota hit the Nicaraguan coast on November 16 as a Category 4 storm. “I arrived at the shelter but they told me to set [the animals] free. First I lost money due to the coronavirus pandemic, and then these two storms hit. Heavily criticised for not ordering evacuations of at-risk areas before Eta, the government broadcast an order days in advance this time. Eta—the 28th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season—made We’ve lost everything… we’re being buried alive here.”, Mejía accuses the government of having abandoned those affected by the hurricanes. They should not put them in places where there are only men... this could lead to discriminatory actions or violence against the LGBT community.”, Martinez speaks with pride of the solidarity the LGBT community has shown with trans women in the coastal areas worst affected by the hurricanes. The storm had sustained winds of 160 mph, as it was centered about 80 miles southeast of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and moved westward at 9 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. The government has been too overwhelmed to make an accurate count. Volunteers join the rescue efforts in the Planeta colony in La Lima, Honduras. “They don't want to help in any way... they could easily give us umbrellas, at least with an umbrella we could get by, but the way things are right now, look, more rain is coming and there’s nothing we can do.”. Hurricane Iota is now growing strong and is set to hit Monday (11/16/2020) and travel the same path causing even more flooding in areas that are still 6 to 8 ft. underwater. SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras -- Shelters for people whose homes were flooded or damaged by hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras are now so crowded … The two hurricanes left at least 94 dead affecting almost 4 million people across the nation, and analysts say they could cause the level of poverty to rise by 10%, surpassing 70% of the population. The pandemic had already plunged the economy deep into recession. Your choice regarding cookies on this site Iota became the thirteenth hurricane of the Atlantic season early Sunday, threatening to bring another dangerous system to Nicaragua and Honduras -- … Hurricane Iota battered Nicaragua's Caribbean coast and flooded some stretches of neighbouring Honduras that were still underwater from Hurricane Eta … “The Honduran people must know that Operation ‘You Are Not Alone’ will reach every last corner affected by the storms to give us back the dignity that was muddied, but has not been lost,” he wrote on Twitter. Preliminary estimates of the economic loss from Eta ranged from 10 to 20% of GDP, or roughly $2.5 to $5bn (£2-£4bn), and the Iota impact could double those numbers. The native Lenca activist, who succeeded her mother as general coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, has pointed out that the proliferation of mining and monoculture in recent years has damaged the natural barriers that used to protect the country against extreme weather. Cookie Statement Hurricanes Eta and Iota have devastated parts of Honduras, and official response has been slow, observers say. It’s a disaster we’re living through, but we’re trying to get back on our feet.”. The destruction in Honduras, combined with the effects of climate change that have made subsistence agriculture difficult in recent years, plus a possible change in the immigration policy of President-elect Joe Biden’s new administration in the United States, could drive a new wave of migration. Situation updates about hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras are provided in this discussion. However, Martínez questions why “citizens are replacing the government’s role in providing humanitarian aid.”. In the aftermath of Eta, Honduras … At least three have died and more are missing after Iota slammed into Central America just miles away from where Eta hit less than two weeks earlier. TEGUCIGALPA (REUTERS) - Hurricanes Eta and Iota have caused about US$10 billion (S$13.34 billion) in damages in Honduras and affected more … El Salvador. “Yesterday was my 58th birthday and I couldn’t even celebrate with a Coca-Cola,” Mejia says. The valley surrounding San Pedro Sula – the country’s economic motor and home to about 2 million people – is the hardest hit area in the nation. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue. In the years after Mitch, Hondurans migrated to the US for the first time in significant numbers, leading to a substantial rise in, and dependence on, remittances. Hurricane Iota intensified over the Caribbean, strengthening to a Category 5 hurricane on Monday as it neared Nicaragua and Honduras. The defender explains that the pandemic and the hurricanes have exacerbated the poverty experienced by many members of the LGBT population in Honduras, which has historically suffered high levels of discrimination, exclusion and violence – particularly transgender people who are disproportionately dependent on the informal economy and sex work. With a slightly different trajectory than Eta, Hurricane Iota caused flooding and landslides in the northern part of the country, exacerbating an already difficult situation. “Some of the churches and other people who are helping out donate toilet paper but there’s no government aid here,” López explains. How are we going to feed them?”. Subsequent damage from Iota is expected to further inflate those numbers. Attachments. “You feel a nervousness, a tension among us,” Tabora reflects. Category 4 Hurricane Eta and Category 5 Hurricane Iota cut similar paths across Central America this month, a one-two punch that killed scores of … Dinorah Nolasco, director of health in the Cortés region where San Pedro Sula is located, says the area has suffered constant crises in the last two years: “First we had a dengue emergency, then a COVID emergency and now we have this tragedy. Iota is the 13th Hurricane of the season, a record number. Iota became a Category 5 hurricane … National Civil Police distribute donated clothes to victims of Hurricane Iota queueing at the Chamelecón neighbourhood in San Pedro Sula. I've been out of work since the pandemic, when everything shut down. Thieves had ransacked many abandoned homes in the city since Eta, making Sanchez, who sold fruit outside her home, afraid of losing what little she had. Durch starke Regenfälle sind … It is unlikely Honduras will receive anywhere close to what it needs to rebuild. J ust 13 days after Hurricane Eta, a second devastating storm hit Honduras and other Central American countries this week. Encarni Pindado is an independent photojournalist. (Update: 4 December 2020) So far there is a total of roughly 4.6 million people affected by Eta & Iota together in Honduras, of which 1.78 million are children. In Honduras, COVID-19 has hit very hard, with many people losing their jobs, food and medications becoming scarce, and prices skyrocketing. Refunds of donations. Iota became the thirteenth hurricane of the Atlantic season early Sunday, threatening to bring another dangerous system to Nicaragua and Honduras -- … Honduras was hit hard by Hurricane Eta last week causing major flooding. Together, our community raised $25,595 to provide everything from hotel rooms, clothes, cleaning … Hurricanes Eta and Iota hit Honduras back-to-back in November. “I have nothing, I’m broke now. Residents wade through a flooded road Thursday in Planeta, Honduras, in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta. Since then, it has faced accusations of not doing enough to protect the health and dignity of those affected and to guarantee their access to humanitarian assistance. Less than two weeks after being battered by Tropical Storm Eta, Honduras was hit by Hurricane Iota, a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. J ust 13 days after Hurricane Eta, a second devastating storm hit Honduras and other Central American countries this week. San Pedro Sula, the nation’s second biggest city, was devastated. “We were surrounded by water, people started saying ‘help us, we want to come in’, so we opened the door downstairs so that people could get in,” says Tabora, the owner of a two-storey funeral home that she turned into an improvised shelter. “My daughters have fallen ill. They’ve had a cough and the flu. “It’s really hard to get ahead in this country,” she added, holding her pyjama-clad children tight. “Worry at knowing what’s coming, as the media says it’s something huge and super dangerous.”, With the water up to his chest, Sergio Donaire, a 35-year-old upholsterer, arrived at the funeral home with his wife and three daughters after fleeing their house, which was practically destroyed. Tabora had already buried many COVID-19 victims and even had to close her business for a while because of the pandemic, but she immediately put her concerns to one side to shelter those who needed her help. This storm, Hurricane Iota, has again flooded communities and fields, taken lives, and forced many Hondurans to relocate to shelters. Hurricane Iota made a catastrophic landfall on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua last week, just 13 days after Hurricane Eta’s landfall. An estimated 100,000 people remained isolated across Honduras in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta as Iota made landfall. Estimates show Hurricane Eta left $5 billion in damages. Hurricanes Eta and Iota left more than 150,000 people in Honduras homeless and many lost everything. The arrival of Hurricanes Eta and Iota in early November, which have so far affected approximately three million people in Honduras alone, marked the reversal of the phenomenon, due to La Niña, which sees surface temperatures in the east-central Pacific drift below average to generate volatile hurricane seasons. Along with Benitez and many other residents of San Pedro Sula’s La Lima suburb, she had gathered along the highway that cuts through the city, with nowhere else to go. USA: New Amnesty International report details ongoing human rights violations at Guantánamo Bay detention facility, UK: Decision to refuse Assange bail renders his continued detention “arbitrary”, 94 dead affecting almost 4 million people, Belarus: Leaked audio allegedly exposing top Interior Minister official ordering use of illegal force against peaceful protesters must be effectively investigated, Amnesty International and Advocacy Assembly launch new online courses on open source human rights investigations, Cambodia: 150 opposition politicians and supporters face jail in mass trials. Hurricanes Eta and Iota are the most severe natural hazards that have hit Honduras in more than 20 years. Hurricane ETA and IOTA Final Update: A Heartfelt Thank You and Two Stories from Survivors. “The weather conditions that we’ve experienced in recent weeks in our country are linked to the mismanagement of natural resources, which are seen as commodities to be excessively consumed for the benefit of certain economic groups,” Zúñiga says in a voice message. “I had gone seven months without work and three days after I got called back this flooding happened,” the 50-year-old said. According to foreign media, Hurricanes Eta and Iota caused around 3.4 million people to be affected in Tegucigalpa alone, including 91 deaths, 189,604 people evacuated and 128,127 left unhoused. According to official tolls fewer than 100 people have died as a result of the hurricanes, but the water from Eta was yet to fully recede in many areas when Iota hit, and hundreds are still reported as missing. Hurricane Iota has left the Planeta municipality in La Lima, Honduras, submerged in water. And now, Hurricane Iota is following Eta's path and making matters devastatingly worse. Surreal scenes abound, like in the Chamelecón neighbourhood to the south of the city, where the river overflowed and flooded the cemetery, forcing open graves and leaving coffins floating in the water. Second devastating hurricane in two weeks lashes fragile nation and leaves villages submerged, Last modified on Thu 19 Nov 2020 12.43 GMT. Donate to the HSN’s Hurricane Eta Emergency Response Fund to get money to community-based groups that are on-the-ground responding to the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold. The Colombian Air Force has also offered its support, evacuating 97 people in a Black Hawk helicopter. Iota killed at least 16 people in Nicaragua and a dozen or more in Honduras, according to the Associated Press, just weeks after 130 people died during Eta in Central America. We’re all scared... it’s the worst thing we’ve ever been through.”. brought widespread flooding and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, which made landfall on the north coast of Nicaragua on Monday, before pushing through Honduras the following day. Iota flooded stretches of Honduras still underwater from Hurricane Eta, after it hit Nicaragua Monday evening as a Category 4 hurricane and weakened as it …   |   I haven’t worked for almost a year now because there are no jobs in this country. “This time was worse than Eta,” said 54-year-old Norma Amador. Shelters for people whose homes were flooded or damaged by hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras are now so crowded that thousands of victims have taken refuge under highway overpasses or bridges. Hurricanes Eta and Iota caused damage of at least $1.8 billion in Honduras and affected almost half of its population, estimated a report by the ECLAC released Sunday by the government. With clouds of mosquitos, large bodies of water and animal corpses everywhere, plus the lack of sanitation due to the storm damage, Nolasco is on the alert for possible outbreaks of malaria and leptospirosis. Impact Solidarity and the embrace between peoples will always be the way to reach the world we dream of.”. That number is expected to increase substantially following Iota, which made landfall on the north coast of Nicaragua on Monday as a category four hurricane before pushing through Honduras the following day as a tropical storm with torrential rain and heavy winds. Tropical Storm Eta and Hurricane Iota have landed Honduras and much of Central America a catastrophic double-blow. Thousands of acres of crops were washed away, causing even more shortages in communities already experiencing severe food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - Iota rapidly gained strength after becoming the 13th hurricane of the Atlantic season Sunday, threatening to bring dangerous winds and rains to Nicaragua and Honduras — countries recently clobbered by Category 4 Hurricane Eta. In Honduras, Hurricane Eta left a trail of destruction. Estimates show Hurricane Eta left $5 billion in damages. Hurricane Iota came ashore just 15 miles south of where Hurricane Eta made landfall November 3, also as a Category 4 storm. However, in areas where the water hadn’t risen as high, some decided to risk it and stay behind. Victims of the lack of environmental protection. ‘The worst thing we’ve ever been through’. — Hundreds of thousands of displaced people now line the streets of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, after Hurricane Eta’s slow-moving rains triggered devastating flooding and landslides. Today, Honduras weighs heavy on our hearts. “We have family and children. A total of 25 foreign military assets have been deployed to support the government of Honduras in response to hurricanes Iota and Eta. Hurricane victims take refuge under a bridge in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. It’s going to need repairing because it’s sinking, it’s full of mud and it has dead animals inside.”, The families sheltered beneath the bridge bathe in the rainwater that falls on the highway and relieve themselves in the sewers. Today, Honduras weighs heavy on our hearts. New York, December 16, 2020—Hurricanes Eta and Iota have left more than 250,000 people in Honduras with limited access to health care services, but the international response remains insufficient to respond to the urgent needs, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). HOPE; Posted 17 Nov 2020 Originally published 17 Nov 2020. 4 min read. “We try to give them advice, we try to isolate them and we try to give them as much psychological counselling as we can, because obviously right now there has not only been material damage and human loss, but the population has also suffered a lot of psychological damage.”. This feature was originally published by Newsweek México. Distributions have also resumed. Sandro Mejía has been living in San Pedro Sula for 20 years, but now sees no other option than to seek a better life in the United States. Many whose lives have been upended by the recent hurricanes are already considering migrating, including some who’ve begun organising caravans via social media. 12.Jan.2021. The second, much larger storm has destroyed many areas largely spared by Eta and increased the flood damage in already stricken areas. The Government of El Salvador opened 1,000 shelters with a capacity for 30,000 people. President Juan Orlando Hernández has visited affected families to deliver humanitarian aid and has declared the construction of dams a national priority. Iota killed at least 16 people in Nicaragua and a dozen or more in Honduras, according to the Associated Press, just weeks after 130 people died during Eta in Central America. HONDURAS SOLIDARITY NETWORK (HSN) HURRICANE ETA EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND Many worry about post-storm corruption. This year’s Atlantic hurricane season has been so extreme that the naming of tropical storms ran through the alphabet well before Eta came along. Durch Hurrikan Iota und Eta wurden Dächer abgedeckt, Strom- und Wasserleitungen zerstört, Tausende von Menschen mussten ihre Häuser verlassen – das ganze Ausmaß ist aber noch nicht absehbar.Hurrikan Iota traf mit Windgeschwindigkeiten von bis zu 250 Kilometern pro Stunde an der Karibikküste Nicaraguas auf Land und zog über Honduras hinweg. Overview. Another 25 sheep of his drowned when the property flooded. Many families were forced to live under a bridge where access to potable water is scarce. On 26 November, he announced that he had sent the Free Vaccine for All Against COVID-19 law to the National Congress, to “ensure that everyone has access, voluntarily and without cost”. Tropical Storm Iota was brewing in the Caribbean Sea early Saturday, threatening a second tropical strike for Nicaragua and Honduras, countries recently ransacked by a Category 4 Hurricane Eta. It’s a prompt to take action against this and listen to what indigenous peoples and the organizations fighting for climate justice have been saying.”. 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