Action Against Hunger teams have mobilized in Central America to save lives after Hurricane Iota, the second Category 4 hurricane to pass through the area in just two weeks.
Hurricane Iota made landfall on Monday night on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, bringing winds more than 160 miles per hour and heavy rains and impacting the same areas that were hit by Hurricane Eta on November 3, which left an estimated one million people in need in the region. According to the latest estimates of Iota’s impacts, nine people died from the hurricane, 200,000 were directly affected in northern Nicaragua, more than 500,000 were affected and 55,000 people had to be evacuated and relocated to shelters.
Action Against Hunger’s top priorities are to save lives and evacuate people in areas prone to flooding or landslides. Our teams are working around the clock to meet basic water, sanitation, and hygiene needs, as well as to provide COVID-19 protective gear to those affected.
"It continues to rain heavily in the area hit by the hurricane, making access to the most affected communities difficult," says Miguel Garcia, Action Against Hunger’s Director for Central America. "The priority right now is the evacuation of people in areas vulnerable to flooding or landslides, who have already buried homes in rural communities in Guatemala.”
"This is a regional climate crisis that is leaving immense damage, especially in Honduras. Action Against Hunger, along with our partners, is already providing aid that will continue to be necessary in the coming weeks. The waters have not yet subsided, and there is even a risk of dams exceeding their capacity and bursting.”
Action Against Hunger’s teams, which have been working in the region since 1995, are actively deployed in the area supporting rescue and protection efforts. According to María Rubiñal, Deputy Country Director for Action Against Hunger in the region: “The shelters where the population is crowded together cannot guarantee the basic measures to avoid contagion from disease, which makes the situation critical. We fear that Hurricane Iota will degrade into a tropical storm and linger in a region already hard hit by the previous hurricane, Eta.”