Honduras + 2 more

Central America: Hurricane Eta and Iota - Emergency appeal n° MDR43007 Operation Update no. 1

Situation Report
Originally published
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Description of the disaster

On 3 November, Hurricane Eta struck Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm, causing landslides, and flooding that displaced thousands and left scores of people dead or missing in Central America and part of the Caribbean.

Just 13 days later, Hurricane Iota caused worsened the situation in the areas already affected by Eta and significantly extended the impact to more regions of Nicaragua, and other Central American countries. This 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been historically active, with Iota bringing the season's count to the 31st named storm, breaking the 2005 record when 28 storms were named. Iota originated as a tropical wave that moved into the Eastern Caribbean on 10 November. The storm quickly strengthened into a hurricane on 15 November, becoming a Category 5 hurricane on 16 November. Iota made landfall in Nicaragua and the Gracias a Dios region in Honduras as a category 5 hurricane on 17 November, causing flash flooding, river flooding, and potentially deadly landslides. Some parts of the region continue with swollen rivers that have burst their banks, flooding in communities, and cutting off access and power supply.

Before Iota struck, about 3.6 million people across Central America had been affected by Eta, a storm that hovered for days over Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala, with heavy rains creating flooding and landslides. With Iota, further devastation was caused in additional areas and between the two storms nine countries in Central America were affected. As of today, more than 7 million people in Central America have been affected by two hurricanes in a two week period.