• Crisis Severity ?
    3.1
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    3.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    2.9
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    3.1
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    3.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Overview

14/12/2020

Two category 4 storms hit Central America’s Caribbean coast in November, both making landfall in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region of Nicaragua. The hurricanes followed virtually identical paths across Central America and Mexico, affecting over 8 million people. High winds and heavy rains caused widespread flooding, displacements, and infrastructure damage. Hundreds of people have been killed as a result of flooding and landslides.?

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the busiest ever recorded with 30 named storms, and is the only season to have had two major hurricanes in November. The season officially ended on 30 November. By the end of November, national authorities and humanitarian organisations in all affected countries were starting to establish longer-term response and recovery operations. The humanitarian consequences of the hurricanes are likely to take years to overcome, however.?

Eta hit Honduras on 4 November as a tropical storm and Iota on 17 November also as a tropical storm. Both storms made landfall in the southern department of El Paraíso before travelling north. In Honduras, Eta and Iota have affected 4.1 million people and killed 98. Over 175,000 people are staying in temporary shelters, many of which do not meet basic needs.?

The Sula Valley is the worst-affected area. Flooding and landslides have forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate, cut off humanitarian access to some communities, and damaged houses, roads, and other basic infrastructure. There has also been extensive damage to farmland, severely limiting people’s access to food and livelihoods.?

Latest Developments

05/01/2021

Hurricanes Eta and Iota have affected 6 million people and displaced 590,000 in Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Millions remain in urgent need of shelter, health, food, and WASH assistance. Damages to agricultural assets and roads have caused livelihood and market disruptions. The hurricanes hit Central America during the peak of the agricultural labour season, when the majority of poor and very poor households earn most of their annual income. 216,000 hectares of crops were damaged in Honduras alone. 3.5 million people across Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua are estimated to be facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity, with an expected peak of 4 million in August 2021.The hurricanes have aggravated the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in the region and pre-existing vulnerabilities linked to chronic violence and poverty, which have driven migration in the past. A caravan of Hondurans was stopped at the border with Guatemala on 9 December.?

 

KEY PRIORITIES

17/12/2020

Health: 500,000 people reported health needs after Eta and Iota. COVID-19 cases are also rising in emergency shelters across affected areas because of overcrowding and a lack of WASH facilities. There is a lack of PPE for health personnel and responders in shelters and health facilities.?

WASH: Lack of access to drinking water and sanitation facilities is reported in affected areas, including in emergency shelters and hospitals.?

Protection: People in shelters are also facing protection concerns from criminal gangs who control the areas where people are seeking shelter, largely in the city of San Pedro Sula. Girls and young women in shelters are being left vulnerable to violence, sexual abuse and exploitation.?

Food security: Flooding has damaged over 216,000 hectares of crops, which is likely to result in increased levels of food insecurity in the coming months.?