Honduras + 5 more

Honduras and Central America: Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 7

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This situation report is based on information received from, the UN Emergency Technical Team (UNETT) in the affected countries, the Regional Office in Panama, the UNDAC Team in Honduras and the National Hurricane Centre.

HIGHLIGHTS

- In Honduras, the situation remains fragile, as new areas are affected by rains, increasing the risk of further floods and landslides. The Flash Appeal for Honduras is only 8% funded.

- The Vice President of Guatemala has requested international assistance on 3 November. The priority needs are for health, water and sanitation, food, protection and agriculture.

SITUATION

1. Tropical Depression No. 16 made landfall in northern Honduras on 16 October and has been slowly crossing over Central America causing heavy rains from northern Costa Rica to south-eastern Mexico. The system affected the countries of Costa Rica, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala with heavy rains which led to flooding and mudslides. A new cold front is moving over the region and is likely to bring moderate rains. The two most affected countries at the moment are Honduras and Guatemala.

HONDURAS

2. Due to a series of meteorological events (Tropical Depression 16, low depression and swell), the Government of Honduras declared a state of emergency on 19 October. These events caused rains of diverse intensity in the whole country but mainly in the southern and western area. A great number of landslides were registered. The Government has formally requested humanitarian assistance on 20 October. A Red Alert remains in the Counties of Corquín and Cucuyagua in the Department of Copán, Belén Gualcho in Ocotepeque Department. A Yelow Alert remains in place in the Central District of Francisco Morazán and will be extended to the departments of Cortes, Atlántida, North of Yoro and Colón. A Green Alert is in place for the departments of Bay Islands, Gracias a Dios and North of Comayagua and Olancho.

3. The rains caused by the cold front are increasing the risk of floods and landslides in areas that were not previously affected, therefore the humanitarian situation remains very fluid. There are still communities only accessible by air. The COPECO is coordinating relief activities and continues its distribution of humanitarian aid to all those affected due to the heavy rains. COPECO has closed the damages assessment for the Tropical Depression 16 and has released the final figures on the impact of the floods as follows:

Affected persons
279,972
Evacuated persons
42,304
Directly affected persons
68,716
Persons in shelters
42,749
Affected houses
12,429
Deaths
34
Missing persons
16
Roads affected
256 ( 50% of total, affected for floodingand landslides)
Agriculture damaged
101,107 ha
Departments Affected
17 out of 18
Counties affected
114 (40%) out of 298
Population without power
150,000 ( in the Department of Olancho )

4. Health, shelter and food are a priority. Public health is an area of concern even though no outbreaks have been reported. The main health concerns are gastrointestinal diseases and acute respiratory infections. Primary needs include portable latrines, water purification and household hygiene kits. There are currently no severe food security issues, but the next harvest will be affected. As a result of the meeting held by the Government, a housing, road and agricultural rehabilitation plans have been developed. Moreover, the Government has decided to sell its strategic reserve of basic grains (maize and beans). The objective of the transaction is to obtain funds to purchase basic grains, therefore stimulating the agriculture market. Damage in the transport infrastructure is impacting negatively on the commercialization of the coffee production.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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