MANAGUA – Heavy rains over a period of 24 days left at least 16 dead and 11,312 people homeless in 33 of the nation’s 153 municipalities, official sources announced.
President Daniel Ortega met Oct. 17 with high-ranking officials of Civil Defense, the police, Cabinet ministers and other authorities to evaluate the damages caused by the rains that came in two phases as a result of different meteorological phenomena.
The head of Civil Defense, Col. Mario Perezcassar, said that out of the 11,312 people left homeless by the downpours, only 2,793 in the whole country were taken to temporary shelters.
Officials said that in the preceding weeks 12 deaths were recorded, and in the last few days four people were killed trying to cross rivers in different parts of the country. The director of the Nicaraguan Institute for Territorial Studies, Alejandro Rodríguez, said that the rains were brought on by three low-pressure centers interacting with an area of inter-tropical convergence.
The director of Ineter said that forecasts point to the low-pressure centers moving north, and that weather was expected to improve this week.
The final evaluation of damage to roads and other infrastructure as well as to agricultural production will not be concluded as long as the rains continue.
Meanwhile, throughout Central America in the past week, at least 17 people have died, four are missing and 84,000 have been left homeless by the rains.
According to emergency and rescue services in the various countries, rains in the past week have left three people dead in Honduras, two are missing, and 1,500 were left homeless; in Costa Rica seven died, and 77,000 are homeless; in Guatemala two were killed, two are missing, and 2,000 were left homeless; El Salvador reported its first death due to the rains, while about 150 people have been evacuated; in Panama, one person has died, and 196 people have been left homeless.