El Salvador , Honduras , Guatemala and Costa Rica

CentAm facing flood emergency from Hurricane Michael

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, October 09, 2018
CentAm facing flood emergency from Hurricane Michael

The torrential rains brought by Hurricane Michael that lashed parts of Central America, from Guatemala to Costa Rica, over the weekend have led governments to implement various measures to respond to the emergency, which is badly affecting roads, port infrastructure and homes, and has taken a human toll.


Honduras was the country worst affected by the heavy rains from the hurricane, which continues pushing towards the Gulf coast. The rains resulted in floods and landslides, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. Six people died as a result of the disaster, according to press report.

Authorities issued a red alert warning for the departments of Francisco Morazán, Valle and Choluteca, with President Juan Orlando Hernández calling on residents to "take the situation very seriously."

According to information from the country's permanent contingency commission (Copeco), around 1,400 people have been affected by the rains and 165 families have had to be evacuated. Some 142 of those families have been put in shelters.

Although the rainfall is expected to ease starting this Monday, water levels in the Choluteca river are expected to continue growing. The areas of El Paraíso, Choluteca and Valle are slated to remain in a state of "permanent alert," according to authorities.


In Nicaragua, where the death toll reached two, over 61,000 families were left without electric power over the weekend, with the majority of those affected located in the northern municipalities of Matagalpa, Madriz, Estelí, Jinotega and Nueva Segovia.

The power failures left over 35,000 people in Cuapa, Matagalpa, Muy Muy, San Ramón, Esquipulas, Jalapa, El Limón, Ocotal, Mozonte, Santa Rosa del Peñón, Boaco, San Rafael del Norte and Malacatoya without potable water services.

The country's ports were also affected by the weather. In Corinto port, a cruise ship carrying 1300 tourists was unable to dock due to strong winds. Although operations at other ports remain normal, some small boats had to be moved to a safer place to protect them from the strong swells.

Meanwhile, the transport and infrastructure ministry (MTI) is working to reopen 11 sections of roads that were affected by landslides in different departments of the country.

Costa Rica

In this country, the damage resulting from the rains amounts to approximately 8bn colones (US$13.6mn), according to authorities.

The public works and transport ministry (MOPT) is already repairing damaged bridge and road infrastructure, particularly in Puntarenas province, where ferry services were also temporarily suspended.

A total of 80 locations on some 20 roads across the country were damaged by the rains.

El Salvador

In El Salvador, three people died and 678 had to be evacuated in the eastern part of the country. The storms forced the closure of schools nationwide for a period of 48 hours starting on Monday.

The rains are expected to last until Wednesday, according to authorities.


The rising water in the Petacalpa river, which is located in San Marcos department near the border with Mexico, left one child missing. The 11-year old was reportedly swept away by the river as he and his family were trying to cross it. Some 358 people saw their homes and property damaged, according to authorities.

Pictured: Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández meets members of his government to define emergency actions for the areas affected by the torrential rains.

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