Severe flooding and landslides in Honduras

This is reported by ACT-coordinator Claudia Herrera, Christian Aid Honduras and Erwin Garzona, Christian Aid Regional Emergency Officer for Central and South America.

Vast areas in several departments in Honduras are hit by massive rain and floods. 23 people have been killed and over 22.000 have been evacuated.

Starting on October 12, the Honduran territory was affected by different hydrometeorological events, including Tropical Storm Odile, tropical depression # 16 and two areas of low pressure. These systems caused heavy raining that resulted in flooding and landslides in different parts of the country.

Preliminary report of impacts

At least sixteen (16) of the eighteen (18) departments of the country report some level of impact. The main areas affected are the West, the South and the Valley of Sula. The following preliminary impacts can be reported so far: 23 deaths, 8 people missing, 22,742 people evacuated, 22,143 people affected, 19,835 people sheltered, 157 roads were damages, 7 roads were destroyed roads and a total of 142,356 people were impacted. A total of 2,417 houses were damaged and 374 houses were destroyed. The agricultural areas that report the biggest impacts are the Sula Valley, the Valley of Aguan and Olancho which produce corn, plantains, yucca, palm, sugar cane and coffee. A total of 16,083 hectares of basic grains were destroyed.

National and international response

The Government has defined its procedures to respond to the emergency, which consists in the organization of regional emergency committees formed by delegates of ministries and municipal governments. These committees are going to respond in the short term with food aid, water and sanitation, medicines and blankets and clothes. The international response includes actions from UN organizations such as WFP, UNDP and UNICEF; the European ECHO, the Red Cross, Oxfam, and others. The response also includes food aid, water and sanitation, medicines, blankets and clothes, and rehabilitation and reconstruction of agricultural production and housing.

ACT International response

ACT partners have distributed food aid and water supply to affected population in at least four regions of the country. Assessment teams have been deployed by partner organizations to evaluate the damages and identify the needs of the population. ACT members have been participating in meetings with the Permanent Commission for Contingencies (COPECO) to establish mechanisms of coordination.

Planned activities

The response will focus mainly on food aid distribution, mattresses and blankets, kitchen supplies, hygiene kits, medicines, and clothes. Actions for basic rehabilitation and reduce future risks are under consideration.