Guatemala + 4 more

Central America and Mexico - Floods Fact Sheet #5, Fiscal Year (FY) 2006

Situation Report
Originally published



On October 4, Hurricane Stan made landfall south of Veracruz, Mexico, with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour before weakening to a tropical storm and generating separate storms across southern Mexico and Central America. The heavy rainfall associated with these storms caused widespread and severe flooding that has affected millions of people across Central America, including in Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

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.

Guatemala 669 dead, 31,971 in shelters, 474,928 directly affected and/or displaced Government of Guatemala (1) - October 25
El Salvador 69 dead
26,000 in shelters
Government of El Salvador -- October 13
National Emergency Committee (COEN) -- October 18
Mexico 2.5 million affected, 670,000 displaced (2) Government of Mexico -- October 23
Costa Rica 459 communities affected, 1,074 evacuated Government of Costa Rica (3) -- October 6
Nicaragua 13,750 severely affected, nearly 900 in shelters Government of Nicaragua -- October 24

Total FY 2006 USAID/OFDA Assistance to
Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua: $4,850,345 Total FY 2006 USAID

Humanitarian Assistance to
Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua: $7,865,745


USAID/OFDA Team Deployment

Nine USAID/OFDA staff have deployed to countries affected by Tropical Storm Stan and Hurricane Wilma over the last three weeks -- including Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Bahamas, Nicaragua, and Honduras -- to assess damages, identify needs, and coordinate with local disaster officials.

As of October 28, five USAID/OFDA staff are positioned in Central America in advance of Tropical Storm Beta -- two each in Nicaragua and Honduras, and one each in Panama and Costa Rica.


On October 25, the Government of Guatemala's National Council for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) reported that Tropical Storm Stan caused 669 confirmed deaths; directly affected 474,928 people; damaged or destroyed 34,968 homes; and affected 1,158 communities.

According to CONRED, the number of displaced residents living in shelters continues to decrease, from more than 120,000 on October 13 to an estimated 31,000 on October 24. Currently, 296 shelters are serving residents from more than 1,100 communities.


Heavy rainfall caused by Tropical Storm Stan, which passed over Mexico on October 4, flooded the states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Puebla, Hidalgo, and Guerrero, displacing 370,000 people. According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the flooding killed 15 people and affected approximately 1.5 million.

On October 25, Hurricane Wilma caused severe flooding across Quintana Roo and Yucatan states, displacing approximately 300,000 people in Cancún alone and severely damaging the homes of another 700,000 residents, according to OCHA. In addition, the hurricane killed 7 people and affected more than 1 million people. Hurricane Wilma also caused extensive damage to public infrastructure, including electrical, telecommunications, and fuel services in the hotel sector of Quintana Roo.

On October 27, the USAID/OFDA team in Mexico, in collaboration with USAID/Mexico, conducted damage and needs assessments in Cozumel. The team reported that food, water, and relief supplies are being delivered in Cozumel. The team also reported that, in Cancún, sufficient bottled water, food, medicines, and emergency relief supplies are available in warehouses, and the Mexican Red Cross and the Mexican Military are regularly delivering supplies to local shelters.

Currently, one USAID/OFDA consultant remains in Cancún to monitor ongoing relief efforts.


Heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Stan caused flooding and landslides in the Departments of Esteli, Chinandega, and Jinotega, forcing approximately 840 people to evacuate to temporary shelters. The Government of Nicaragua's National Disaster Prevention, Mitigation, and Response Organization (SINAPRED) reported that Stan caused approximately $16 million in damage to roads and affected 3,500 hectares of agricultural land, including the destruction of approximately 875 hectares. In the Municipality of Jinotega alone, 9,300 people in 24 communities have reportedly lost crops and food supplies, due to heavy rains.

In addition, extensive rainfall destroyed crops and food supplies in 14 communities in the Municipality of Waspam, Region Autónoma Atlántico Norte (RAAN), along the Coco River, severely affecting 4,450 people.

According to the National Hurricane Center, as of October 28, Tropical Storm Beta was forecast to gain strength and strike the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua within 36 hours, bringing up to 10 to 15 inches of rainfall.

El Salvador

Two simultaneous emergencies -- 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 and Usulután in southern El Salvador, and San Salvador and Sansonate in northern El Salvador.

Costa Rica

Extensive rainfall in the provinces of Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Puntarenas, and San José in the Pacific and Central Valley caused severe flooding and landslides, forcing more than 1,000 people in 459 communities to evacuate to local shelters.



On October 5, U.S. Ambassador James M. Derham issued a disaster declaration due to the magnitude of the damage caused by the flooding and landslides.

To date, USAID/OFDA has provided nearly $4 million in humanitarian assistance to Guatemala. This funding includes: $150,000 to USAID/Guatemala for the local purchase and distribution of emergency relief supplies and for helicopter support; $3 million to USAID/Guatemala for emergency grants to non-governmental organization (NGO) partners for health, water and sanitation, and shelter activities; and $200,000 to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for emergency health and water and sanitation activities through the U.N. Joint Flash Appeal.

Though three airlifts, USAID/OFDA provided the following relief supplies: 5,004 hygiene kits; 1,000 rolls of plastic sheeting; 5,000 blankets; 2,502 hygiene kits; 9,200 5-gallon water containers; 1,120 water containers with a 10 liter capacity; 6 water bladders with a 12,000 liter capacity; and 2 water treatment units. The value of these supplies, including transport is nearly $600,000.

USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) pledged approximately $2 million in emergency food assistance to support the U.N. World Food Program's (WFP) emergency operations in Guatemala.


On October 23, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Stephen R. Kelly issued a disaster declaration due to the magnitude of the damage caused by Hurricane Wilma.

On October 6, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio O. Garza Jr. declared a disaster due to the flooding from Tropical Storm Stan.

To date, USAID/OFDA has provided a total of $600,000 in response to flooding caused by Tropical Storm Stan and Hurricane Wilma. This funding includes: $300,000 to the American Red Cross in response to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) flash appeal for emergency relief activities; $200,000 through USAID/Mexico to the Mexican Red Cross for the local purchase and distribution of emergency relief supplies; and $100,000 through USAID/Mexico to the Nature Conservancy for the purchase and distribution of emergency relief supplies.

El Salvador

On October 4, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Michael A. Butler issued a disaster declaration due to the effects of the flooding and volcanic eruption.

USAID/OFDA has provided a total of $200,000 in humanitarian assistance to El Salvador, to date. This funding includes: $100,000 through USAID/El Salvador to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for the local purchase and distribution of emergency relief supplies, including sleeping mats, blankets, and hygiene kits, to affected families; and $100,000 to PAHO for emergency health, water and sanitation activities as part of the U.N. joint appeal. USAID/OFDA also donated 85 rolls of plastic sheeting previously stockpiled.

On October 19, USAID/El Salvador pledged $1 million to support the recovery phase and priority activities to be agreed upon with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. USAID/El Salvador also provided COEN with 55 boxes of plastic sheeting for the construction of temporary shelters, valued more than $15,000.


On October 19, U.S. Ambassador Paul A. Trivelli declared a disaster due to flooding that led to the destruction of crops and food supplies. In response, USAID/OFDA provided $50,000 to WFP for the transport of 224 metric tons (MT) of P.L. 480 Title II emergency food assistance for 4,450 beneficiaries.

Costa Rica

On September 30, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Russell L. Frisbie declared a disaster due to the impact of the flooding. In response, USAID/OFDA provided $50,000 to CNE for the local purchase of relief supplies, water, and food.



On October 8, the U.S. Army's Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) deployed a 58-person team from Joint Task Force-Bravo in Honduras to Guatemala City to assist with ongoing disaster relief efforts in southwestern Guatemala. As of October 17, SOUTHCOM had delivered over 360,950 pounds of food, medical supplies, and communications equipment to affected areas, and the team had flown in 200 host nation firefighters, emergency aid workers, and doctors.

On October 17, a scientist from the U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (USGS/VDAP) traveled to El Salvador to assess volcanic activity and damage following the eruption of Ilamatepec. USGS/VDAP provided approximately $12,000 of monitoring equipment to the local Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (National Service of Land Studies or SNET) for monitoring of continued volcanic seismic activity in the region.


(1) Government of Guatemala's National Council for Disaster Reduction (CONRED)

(2) Numbers affected and displaced as a result of both Hurricane Wilma and Tropical Storm Stan.

(3) Government of Costa Rica's National Commission for the Prevention of Risks and Attention to Emergencies (CNE)

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