Category 4 Hurricane Iota hit the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras late Monday night, November 16, causing fears of disastrous consequences for the populations of these two countries. Humanity & Inclusion is particularly concerned about the threats to the most fragile populations.
Hurricane Iota had reached category 5 yesterday, before being downgraded to category 4 and now to category 2. It could do very significant damage, having arrived with sustained winds of 155mph. Nicaraguan, Honduran and Guatemalan authorities had evacuated tens of thousands of people to shelters in reception centers, permanent buildings that should endure the storm.
Hurricane Iota hit an area of Nicaragua that endured another hurricane, Eta, just two weeks ago. That storm destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, affecting nearly 2.5 million people.
Iota's arrival, packing stronger winds and storm surge, could considerably worsen the situation, as torrential rains drench areas that have already been affected by flooding.
Humanity & Inclusion is concerned about the situation of the most vulnerable people, including people with disabilities, who are particularly exposed in this kind of disaster and need assistance to access aid.
"People living in Central America, particularly in Nicaragua, are likely to be severely affected," explains Dominique Delvigne, geographical director for Humanity & lnclusion. "It is likely that many families will find themselves without housing, lose their means of subsistence (agricultural production, etc.) and struggle to access to drinking water."
Humanity & Inclusion first began working in Nicaragua in 1997, the year before Hurricane Mitch devastated the country and wider Central American region. However, teams are not currently present in the countries affected by the hurricane. The organization's emergency division is on standby to assess the hurricane's damages, and to determine what actions could be taken to help the most vulnerable people.