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Central America, Mexico and Haiti: Floods from Hurricane Stan - Appeal No. 05EA021 Final Report

Situation Report
Originally published


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

Final Report; Period covered: 26 October to 31 December, 2006; Final appeal coverage: 89.2%.

Appeal history:

- Launched on 7 October 2005 for CHF 1,568,000 (USD 1,230,694 or EUR 1,012,648) for 6 months to assist 10,250 families.

- A revised Emergency Appeal was issued on 17 October 2005, seeking CHF 6,175,760 (USD 4,780,996 or EUR 3,974,564) in cash, kind, or services to assist 10,050 families for 6 months.

- A revised plan of action for the Guatemalan Red Cross was issued in April 2006, and the timeframe of the operation extended until 31 December 2006.

- Rehabilitation activities ended on 31 December 2006, the final timeframe was extended until April 2007 to finalize all operational activities.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 280,000

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: El Salvador: Floods and Volcanic Activity (Appeal 05EA020); Bahamas, Cuba and Mexico: Hurricane Wilma (Appeal 05EA024); Central America: Annual Appeal (Appeal MAA43001); Pan American Disaster Response Unit: Annual Appeal (Appeal MAA42001)

Operational Summary:

Relief operations carried out by the Red Cross Societies of Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua closed in July 2006. Balances from the emergency operation in Nicaragua were used to implement rehabilitation projects in four communities of the Municipality of Chinandega. This phase included community disaster preparedness, disaster preparedness capacity building and water and sanitation activities aimed at improving disaster preparedness at the community level in Mexico and Nicaragua.

Following the receipt of additional funding, the relief operation in Mexico was extended formally until November 2006 and activities consisted of providing kitchen sets, hygiene kits and food items to beneficiaries in the most affected areas of the country - which included the States of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Yucatán.

Due to the complexity and scope of the operation in Guatemala, the implementation period for this country was extended until 31 December 2006 and the Guatemalan Red Cross (GRC) implemented rehabilitation activities in the areas of: community health and HIV and AIDS, psychosocial support, water and sanitation and disaster preparedness.

Beneficiary selection criteria for the appeal was focused on the vulnerability of those severely affected by hurricane Stan, both by the immediate impact of the flooding and the damage it wreaked on housing and crops. In the case of rehabilitation projects, benefited communities were selected based on the fact that Red Cross programmes were already being developed in the area prior to the emergency, and where significant health, sanitation and disaster preparedness issues were already being addressed.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at

For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.

Background and Summary

Hurricane Stan was the eighteenth named tropical storm and eleventh hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was also the sixth of seven tropical cyclones (three hurricanes - two of them major - three tropical storms and one tropical depression) to make landfall in Mexico. Stan was a relatively weak storm that only briefly reached hurricane status. It was embedded in a larger non-tropical system of rainstorms that dropped torrential rains in the Central American countries of Guatemala and El Salvador and in southern Mexico, causing flooding and mudslides that led to possibly up to 2,000 deaths.

A tropical wave, which moved off the African coast on 17 September, formed a low pressure area when it reached the western Caribbean Sea and formed a tropical depression on 1 October. Off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, it strengthened into Tropical Storm Stan on 2 October. Stan made landfall on the Peninsula and weakened again to a tropical depression, but regained tropical storm strength upon reemerging into the Bay of Campeche. By 4 October, it had sufficiently strengthened to be given hurricane status. Stan made landfall later in the east-central coast of Mexico, south of Veracruz, as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, then weakened to a tropical storm early that afternoon.

Costa Rica

Heavy rains in Costa Rica caused overflowing of major rivers as well as landslides. The media informed of 15 areas which were left inaccessible. Some 2,000 people were affected in the Provinces of San José, Puntarenas, Alajuela, Guanacaste, Cartago and Heredia. At least three deaths were attributed to the floods. More than 600 houses were damaged, water and electricity supply was affected in some areas, 48 bridges, four dikes and 28 sewerage systems were damaged, over 100 roads were waterlogged and there was major damage to crops.


The damages caused by hurricane Stan in Guatemala are estimated to have surpassed those caused by hurricane Mitch in 1998, as entire communities were engulfed by landslides. The statistics show that in Guatemala, more than 669 deaths resulted from hurricane Stan, while 268 deaths were reported with hurricane Mitch. The rains from hurricane Stan caused flooding and landslides in Guatemala, affecting some 1,500,000 people in the departments of Santa Rosa, Jutiapa, Sacatepéquez, Escuintla, Chimaltenango, Quetzaltenango, Sololá, San Marcos, Totonicapán, Retalhuleu, Suchitepéquez and Huehuetenango. The Mayan villages of Panabaj and Tzanchaj, on the shores of Lake Atitlán, an area popular with Western tourists, were particularly hard hit. A total of 1,400 people were confirmed missing and are presumed dead. In addition, crops of sugar cane in the coastal areas and corn and beans were wiped out or damaged, putting livelihoods at risk.


Although the only hurricane that made landfall on Hispaniola in 2005 was hurricane Alpha on 23 October, the rains caused by hurricane Stan resulted in floods and landslides and caused loss of lives and homes, damages to property, livestock and crops throughout most of the country. Its effects were felt in the Departments of Ouest, Artibonite, Nord, Nord-Est, Nord-Ouest, Sud-Est, Sud, Nippes and Grande-Anse. Flooding occurred in Grande Saline and the 5th commune of the town of Saint Marc in the Department of Artibonite. At least one person died and around 2,000 families were seriously affected by flooding. Several roads in the affected areas were completely wiped out and in some cases towns were only accessible by boat. It is estimated that 45 percent of livestock and 65 percent of crops in these areas were destroyed.


In Honduras the storm affected 2,869 people and caused six deaths. In addition, a number of major roads were blocked by landslides. It is estimated that damage to crops affected over 4,000 families.


In Nicaragua, three people died in total, with 1,576 families having been affected following the heavy rains brought on by hurricane Stan. The most affected areas were the municipality of San Sebastián de Yalí, in the department of Jinotega, and the departments of Chinandega, León and Granada. At least 13 homes were destroyed, 50 seriously damaged, 167 houses were flooded and crops were seriously affected - especially beans, rice, corn, and grass pasture. The Ministry of Farming reported losses in an area equivalent to 3,439 blocks of houses.


In Mexico, at least 36 people died as a result of the floods and mudslides and according to the Mexican Red Cross some 1,296,000 were affected in 2,956 communities. Throughout Mexico, at least 173,000 houses suffered damages, of which some 2,254 were completely destroyed. In addition, 364 roads were damaged, as well as 121 bridges. Some 69 hospitals - 20 of which were completely destroyed - experienced significant damages.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Costa Rica: Costa Rican Red Cross; email; phone (506)233-7033; fax (506) 233-7628

In Guatemala: Annabella Folgar de Roca, President, Guatemalan Red Cross; e-mail phone (502) 2253 7332; fax (502) 2232 4649

Roy Venegas, Former Federation Regional Coordinator, Stan Operation; e-mail; Skype: royvenegas

In Haiti: Dr. Michaèle Amédée Gédéon, President, Haitian National Red Cross Society; email, phone (509) 510-9813, fax (509) 223-1054

In Honduras: Honduran Red Cross, Tegucigalpa; email, phone (504) 237-8876, fax (504) 238- 0185

In Mexico: Antonio Fernandez Arena; Director General, Mexican Red Cross e-mail phone (5255) 1084 4510/4511 Fax (5255) 1084 4514

In Nicaragua: Nicaraguan Red Cross, Alejandro Morales, Relief Director; email, phone (505) 265-2087, fax (505) 885-3880

In Panama: Fabricio Lopez, Acting Head of Regional Delegation; e-mail, phone (507) 317 13 00; fax; (507) 317 13 04

In Panama, Stephen McAndrew, Coordinator, Federation Pan American Disaster Response Unit; email:, phone (507) 316-1001, fax (507) 316-1082

In Panama: Jose Garcia-Lozano, Head of Zone, Americas, email:, phone (507) 317 13 00; fax; (507) 317 13 04

In Panama: Xavier Castellanos, Deputy Head of Zone, Americas, email:, phone (507) 317 13 00; fax; (507) 317 13 04

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.