Bahamas + 9 more

Latin America and the Caribbean - Hurricane Season 2005 Fact Sheet #3, Fiscal Year (FY) 2006




The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season has brought an unprecedented 13 hurricanes to date, of which five—Dennis, Emily, Stan, Wilma, and Beta—along with Tropical Storm Gamma, have devastated parts of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Cuba, the Bahamas, Haiti, and Grenada.

Hurricane Dennis made landfall in central Cuba on July 8 bringing sustained winds of 150 miles per hour (mph) and triggering sea surges, floods, landslides, and heavy rains which affected Haiti as well.

Hurricane Emily passed near Grenada on July 14 as a category one hurricane with 90 mph winds.

Hurricane Stan made landfall south of Veracruz, Mexico, on October 4, with sustained winds of 80 mph, before weakening to a tropical storm and generating severe flooding across southern Mexico and Central America.

Hurricane Wilma hovered for more than 24 hours near the Yucatan Peninsula before making landfall in Cozumel, Mexico, on October 22, as a category four hurricane.

Hurricane Beta made landfall on October 30, near Karabal and Sandy Bay, Nicaragua, as a category two hurricane.

Tropical Storm Gamma passed over the northern coast of Honduras on November 19, triggering heavy flooding in the northern departments. A low pressure system that developed on November 16 near the Honduras/Nicaragua border contributed to the flooding.

Honduras 32 dead, 30,219 evacuated, 21,827 in shelters, 530 homes damaged/destroyed (Gamma)
11,000 displaced, 7,700 in shelters (Beta)
Government of Honduras – November 21

Government of Honduras – October 31
Nicaragua 4,780 in shelters (Stan)
2,580 displaced, 506 damaged/destroyed homes (Beta)
Government of Nicaragua (GON) – November 3
Guatemala 669 dead, 31,971 in shelters, 474,928 directly affected and/or displaced (Stan) Government of Guatemala (GOG) – October 25
Mexico 15 dead, 1.5 million affected, 370,000 displaced (Stan)
7 dead, 1million affected, 300,000 displaced (Wilma)
OCHA(1) – October 23
OCHA – October 25
El Salvador 68 dead, 26,000 in shelters (Stan) Government of El Salvador – October 18
Costa Rica 459 communities affected, 1,074 evacuated (Stan) Government of Costa Rica – October 6
Cuba 16 dead, 73,000 homeless (Dennis)
4,200 in shelters, 11 of 14 provinces affected (Wilma)
Government of Cuba National Civil Defense
OCHA - October 28
Bahamas 1,500 displaced, 200 homes damaged/destroyed (Wilma) Government of the Bahamas – October 28
Haiti 40 dead, 15,000 affected (Dennis) Government of Haiti – July 15
Grenada 1,650 initially displaced, 2,641 homes damaged/destroyed (Emily) OCHA – July 16

Total USAID/OFDA 2005 Hurricane Season Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean: $6,360,7362(2)

Total USAID 2005 Hurricane Season Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean: $12,476,1363(3)


USAID/OFDA Team Deployment

More than 25 USAID/OFDA staff, working closely with USAID Missions and U.S. Embassy staff, have deployed to countries affected by tropical storms Stan and Gamma and hurricanes Wilma and Beta in the last six weeks— including Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, and El Salvador—to assess damages, identify needs, and coordinate assistance with local disaster officials.(4)

As of November 22, three USAID/OFDA staff remain in Honduras, including two regional advisors and a USAID/OFDA consultant, coordinating the USG response to Tropical Storm Gamma.


Heavy rainfall caused by the convergence of two tropical systems—Tropical Storm Gamma and a low pressure system that developed on November 16 near the Honduras/Nicaragua border—brought severe flooding to the northern departments of Gracias a Dios, Colón, Atlántida, Cortés, Yoro, Santa Bárbara, and the Bay Islands.

On November 22, the Government of Honduras Permanent Commission on Contingencies (COPECO) reported that the flooding caused 32 deaths—with an additional 13 people missing—and forced the evacuation of 30,219 people, including more than 21,827 housed in temporary shelters. COPECO reported that 530 homes have been damaged or destroyed, as well as 42 roads and 56 bridges damaged.

The heaviest rainfall occurred in the cities of El Progreso, La Ceiba, Olanchito, and San Pedro Sula, causing damage to public infrastructure and communications systems. More than 30 inches of rain fell along the north coast between Tela and La Ceiba, between November 16 and 19, which was similar to the rainfall accumulations received during Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

From October 29 to 31, the outer bands of Hurricane Beta passed over northeastern Honduras, flooding the departments of Gracias a Dios, Atlántida, and Colón and initially displacing more than 11,000 people.


On November 3, the GON announced the final results of assessments conducted in areas affected by Hurricane Beta. According to the GON, Beta displaced 2,580 persons and damaged or destroyed 506 homes in the municipalities of Desembocadura del Rio Grande, Laguna de Perla, and Tortugero in Autonomous Region of the South Atlantic (RAAS). The most affected communities are Karawala, Kara, La Barra, Sandy Bay Sirpe Sur, and Walpa, in Desembocadura del Rio Grande Municipality.

According to the GON, Beta caused extensive damage to public infrastructure, including 12 churches, 10 schools, 5 health centers, 194 latrines, 115 wells, and 2 water tanks. Communities’ livelihoods were also impacted as residents lost fishing equipment and 250 hectares of beans, maize, yucca, and plantains. The GON reported that urgent needs include food, medicines, potable water, sanitation facilities, and shelter materials.

In addition to the damage caused by Beta, above-normal winter rains along Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast overflowed the Coco River in RAAN Department. On November 3, the GON reported that 4,780 persons from the RAAN municipalities of Puerto Cabezas, Prinzapolka, and Waspan remained in 14 shelters.

Tropical Storm Stan caused flooding and landslides in the departments of Esteli, Chinandega, and Jinotega, forcing approximately 840 people to evacuate to shelters. In addition, extensive rainfall destroyed crops and food supplies in 14 communities in the Municipality of Waspam, RAAN Department, severely affecting 4,450 people.


On October 28, CONRED reported that Tropical Storm Stan caused 669 deaths, with an additional 844 missing; directly affected 474,928 people; and damaged or destroyed 34,968 homes. As of October 28, there were 296 shelters serving residents from 1,100 communities.

On November 9, the Economic Commission for Latin America (CEPAL), in coordination with the GOG, released the results of a comprehensive sector-by-sector evaluation of damages caused by Tropical Storm Stan. According to the GOG, the economic damages caused by Stan totaled more than $985 million (or 7,472.7 Guatemalan Quetzals). The CEPAL evaluation will be used as a framework for GOG and donor reconstruction efforts.


In early October, Tropical Storm Stan flooded the states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Puebla, Hidalgo, and Guerrero, killing 15 people, displacing 370,000, and affected approximately 1.5 million, according to OCHA.

On October 25, OCHA reported that Hurricane Wilma caused severe flooding across Quintana Roo and Yucatan states, killing 7 people, affecting more than 1 million, and displacing approximately 300,000 people in Cancún alone, according to OCHA.

El Salvador

Two simultaneous emergencies in the first week of October—the severe flooding caused by Tropical Storm Stan and the eruption of the Santa Ana volcano—caused 69 deaths and affected roughly half of the country. Flood damage to housing and public infrastructure was particularly severe in the departments of San Miguel, Usulután, San Salvador, and Sansonate.

Costa Rica

Extensive rainfall in late September flooded areas in the provinces of Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Puntarenas, and San José, forcing more than 1,000 residents of 459 communities to evacuate to local shelters.


The Cuban National Civil Defense reported that Hurricane Dennis made landfall in central Cuba on July 8, killing 16 people, damaging or destroying more than 58,000 homes, and leaving an estimated 73,000 people homeless.

On October 22, the outer bands of Hurricane Wilma passed over western Cuba, bringing 10 consecutive days of rainfall that flooded 11 out of 14 provinces and resulted in 700,000 evacuations. Concurrently, rains from Tropical Storm Alpha flooded the eastern provinces.


On October 24, Hurricane Wilma passed through the northern islands of the Bahamas with 100 mile per hour winds and 15 foot storm surges. According to Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the hurricane displaced 1,500 people, damaged or destroyed more than 200 homes, and caused extensive damage to public infrastructure.


According to the Government of Haiti, flooding from Hurricane Dennis in early July killed 40 people and affected 15,000 residents in the southern peninsula of Haiti.


Strong wind and heavy rains from Hurricane Emily impacted the northern parishes of St. Andrew's and St. Patrick's and the outer islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique, forcing more than 1,650 people to seek refuge in shelters.


* The 2005 hurricane season lasts from approximately early June to late November, 2005.

(1) The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

(2) Total USAID/OFDA FY 2005 assistance for the 2005 hurricane season was $291,119. Total FY 2006 USAID/OFDA assistance for the 2005 hurricane season was $6,069,617.

(3) Total USAID FY 2005 assistance for the 2005 hurricane season was $291,119. Total USAID FY 2006 assistance for the 2005 hurricane season was $12,185,017.

(4) This includes staff deployed in response to multiple disasters.

MAP: USAID hurricane assistance to Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, 2005 season (23 Nov 2005)

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