‘Overwhelming’: Central America braces for new storms in the wake of Hurricane Eta | Global development


Central America is preparing for other storms this weekend, as the region recovers from the devastation caused by Hurricane Eta, the Red Cross warned.Forecasters believe that a weather front forming in the Caribbean has a 90% chance to become a cyclone, making it the 30th named Atlantic storm of 2020 in a record hurricane season, breaking the previous year’s worst of 28 storms in 2005.

“This year is unlike any other,” said Felipe Del Cid, director of emergency operations for the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC). “The hurricane season has been intense. We’ve broken all records, and now we’re seeing this shifting Caribbean weather that could turn into a tropical storm… and make the situation much worse than it already is.

In the hardest-hit countries like Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, 90 people have died and 113 are still missing, of whom 210,000 have been evacuated from their homes. Rescue teams were frantically trying to locate missing people on Thursday before forecast rains hit areas already soaked in water.

“There is a system coming almost exactly from the same place as Eta. It’s the last thing the people of this region need, ”said Steve McAndrew, deputy director of the International Federation for the Americas. “There are still people trapped on the rooftops; our search and rescue teams are always looking for people. Massive floods affect water and sanitation. We have reports of people using salt water. “

Floods and storm damage in La Lima, in the Honduran department of Cortés. Photograph: Orlando Sierra / AFP / Getty Images

Communities living along the Caribbean coast, including the Miskito and Garifuna people, were badly affected, trapped between winds and floods lashing inland as landslides rushed down. “Some communities may never recover,” McAndrew said.

The region faces a triple threat of extreme weather conditions, massive migration caused by economic instability and violence, and Covid-19.


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