Central America hit by two violent hurricanes. The Communities of Sant'Egidio providing emergency aid to the suffering populationLatin AmericaHumanitarian emergencies
Central America was battered by two strong hurricanes in November and a tropical storm hovered for days over Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Climate change has made hurricanes more and more devastating and caused the Atlantic Ocean to warm at a rapidly increasing pace intensifying extreme weather.
The first hurricane, called ETA, hit a vast area from the Atlantic coast in Honduras to Alta Verapaz in Guatemala. The second one, called IOTA, hit the Atlantic area of Nicaragua, bringing death and destruction in an area covering hundreds of kilometres.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimates that about 900,000 people were impacted in Guatemala, 200,000 in Honduras and 40,000 in Nicaragua.
In addition to swallowing up villages, communications infrastructure and roads, the continuous flooding and the violence of these two hurricanes will affect the harvest, partly already rotten. This will have repercussions on subsistence farming. It is quite evident that as a result of the floods in 2021 thousands of people will be facing acute hunger.
The Communities of Sant'Egidio in Alta Verapaz in Guatemala immediately responded to help the most vulnerable. They obtained a hostel by the Municipality of Coban to shelter homeless who had spent several days under heavy rains. They also distributed food to those who had their house damaged and had been exposed to the violent storm. In the coming weeks small houses for elderly people who have lost everything will begin to be rebuilt.
In Honduras - as soon as the roads were reopened for transit - the communities visited flood-affected sites on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa and in more rural areas offering meals and clothing. The reconstruction of houses for fragile families will begin soon also in Honduras.
In Nicaragua, the Community of Managua has reached remote villages in the Atlantic area bringing food, blankets and basic supplies to the hardest hit families.