Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua on Friday announced evacuations as a second major hurricane approached within days from Central America as the region was still reeling from the deadly storm ETA last week.
ETA killed more than 200 people across Central America, with torrential rains falling on the banks of rivers and triggering landslides as far north as Chiapas, Mexico.
The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami confirmed this again Big hurricane It is close to Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala, which have a population of more than 30 million.
The NHC expects Tropical Storm Iota to become a Category 2 or 3 as it moves to the same countries that have been hit by projectiles, striking Nicaragua and Honduras late Sunday or early Monday – less than two weeks after hitting ETA.
On Friday, authorities in Honduras ordered police and military evacuations for people in the San Pedro Sula region, the country’s second city and industrial capital, located 180 kilometers (110 miles) north of Tegucigalpa.
“Our red alert (in Honduras) calls for a mandatory evacuation,” Julisa Mercado of the Honduran Emergency Response Agency told AFP.
The San Pedro Sula Valley was severely damaged by ETA and around 40,000 people remain in shelters across the country.
“We ask you to prepare calmly” for the hurricane, which “threatens to cause floods and disasters,” Rose Konigam, mayor of Waspam, which borders Honduras, urged the local community via a local radio station.
Waspam authorities on Friday sent boats to evacuate the community in Cabo Gracias a Dios, the cape where the Coco River flows into the Caribbean Sea along the “mosquito coast”, and buses to take people from the village of Bhemona.
Meanwhile, Guatemala’s disaster management agency CONRED has called on residents in the country’s most threatening areas in the north and northeast to voluntarily evacuate to shelters. It also recommends avoiding waterways and other dangerous areas.
“Our land is already too saturated,” said Guatemalan President Alejandro Giamatti.
He warned after meeting with his counterpart in Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, in Guatemala City: “Therefore, we are expected to suffer more damage in agriculture and infrastructure.”
ETA hit the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm and was one of the strongest November storms ever recorded.
Cause warmer seas Climate change Scientists say they make hurricanes stronger for longer after landfall, adding to the devastation they can wreak.
Giamatti in Guatemala on Friday accused industrialized nations of being responsible for the climate-induced disasters sweeping the region.
“Central America is one of the regions where climate change is felt the most,” he told reporters.
He said that the region suffers from “catastrophic floods, severe drought and the most poverty,” but nonetheless receives “minimal assistance on behalf of these industrialized countries.”
These years Tornado The season saw a record 30 tropical storms wreak havoc in the southeastern United States, the Caribbean and Central America.
The NHC was forced to switch to the Greek alphabet after the 2020 storms exhausted the list of Latin names.
© 2020 Agence France-Presse
Hard-hit Central America caught in the crossfire of yet another hurricane (2020, November 14)
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