Humanitarian Assistance Appeal No. 01.19/2000 Situation Report No. 1

Situation Report
Originally published


Period covered: January - March 2000

Joint efforts of the Honduran Red Cross, the Federation Delegation and very active bilaterally Participating National Societies already yield results in the rehabilitation, institutional development and disaster preparedness activities .

The context

In November 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated Central America, most particularly Honduras. Mitch was the worst natural phenomenon in the history of this country and, to date, it is considered one of the worst disasters to strike Latin America in the last 200 years.

Strong winds, floods and destruction caused by torrential rainfall wiped out entire communities, crops, roads and bridges. The total damage caused by Mitch in Honduras is equivalent to approximately 70% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The total number of 5,657 persons died and 8,058 are missing. One and a half million people were directly or indirectly affected by the hurricane.

Hurricanes, earthquakes and earth slides are all well-known natural phenomena in Honduras. But Mitch was of such strength that it wreaked catastrophic devastation and completely annihilated the country’s ability to respond. Poverty, population growth and the deterioration of the environment played a major role, turning Hurricane Mitch into a human disaster.