Honduras: Floods - Emergency Plan of Action (DREF) Operation n° MDRHN011


Description of the disaster

On 23 October 2017, COPECO declared a green alert in five of the country’s departments: Cortés, Yoro, Atlántida, Islas de La Bahía and Colón; the alert was declared in response to the arrival of the first cold front of the season, which brought heavy rains and prompted COPECO to raise the alert level for the departments of Islas de la Bahía, Cortés, Atlántida and Colón at 5:00 pm on 24 October. That same day, the government declared a state of emergency due to the presence of the weather system in the departments of Cortés, Atlántida, Yoro, Colón, Islas de la Bahía and Gracias a Dios.

The weather system brought heavy rainfall, which caused rivers and gorges to flood. As of 29 October 2017, a red alert was in effect for the departments Gracias a Dios, Yoro, Islas de la Bahía, Cortés, Atlántida and Colón, while a yellow alert was in place for departments Olancho, Santa Bárbara and Francisco Morazán and a green alert for the departments of Copán, Comayagua, La Paz, Valle, Choluteca, Lempira, Ocotepeque, Intibucá and El Paraíso.

According to official data provided by COPECO, the flooding has had the following impact on Honduras:

  • 9,515 affected families (46,975 people)

  • 8,872 evacuated families (26,701 people)

  • 3,253 families (16,771 people) housed in collective centres

  • 1 missing person - 2 rescued people - 7 deceased - 5,058 affected houses

  • 11 destroyed houses

  • 9 affected hospitals

  • 1 affected airport

  • 14 rivers and gorges at flood levels

  • 41 affected highways

  • 12 landslides/collapses

  • 47 communities cut off Additionally, Tropical Depression Selma formed in the Pacific at the same time as a tropical disturbance in the Atlantic according to COPECO’s National Centre of Atmospheric, Oceanographic and Seismic Studies, producing moderate to strong rains, especially in the country’s south central and western parts.

The affected families are in urgent need of food, shelter, first aid, psychosocial support, water and sanitation support, the restoration of their livelihoods.

Summary of the Current Response

Overview of the National Society’s Actions

Through its branch network and in coordination with the National Disaster Risk Management System, the Honduran Red Cross has been working since the start of the wet season on the development actions to benefit he affected population; likewise, it has conducted community resilience actions.

The National Society has conducted the following actions in response to the current emergency:

• Activation of the National Response Plan.

• Honduran Red Cross activated its branch network, National Monitoring Centre, and its Strategic Monitoring Centres.

• Launch and update Disaster Management Information System (DMIS) alerts.

• Maintain continuous coordination between the Councils and the Municipal Emergency Committees (– CODEM for its acronym in Spanish).

• Support for the evacuations in the affected areas.

• Provision of psychosocial support to 700 people in the collective centres.

• Provision of pre-hospital health care to 4,000 people in the collective centres.

• Development of an emergency plan of action to respond to the emergency.

• Coordination with the Risk Management National System