Heavy rains: One death in Costa Rica, at least 13 dead in Central America

October 9, 2018

At least 13 people died and thousands were affected by heavy rains throughout Central America over the past few days, according to emergency organizations.

There were six reported deaths in Honduras, four in Nicaragua, two in El Salvador and one in Costa Rica. Guatemala reported one missing.

In Honduras, a mother and her two daughters were buried in a landslide on Saturday night in a landslide. Another three men died between Thursday and Saturday died due to river floods.

National System of Disaster Prevention and Attention (SINAPRED) in Nicaragua said four people died. They reported the death of a woman in Jinotega, a man in Boaco, and a fisherman in Puerto Morazán.

A fourth person was killed by a river flood in Siuna, according to inhabitants.

About 13,000 people were heavily affected by the storm, mainly due to the flooding of homes in Nicaragua.

In Honduras, approximately 7,000 people suffered damages to their homes because of the rains.

In El Salvador, one person was killed in the rural town of Joateca, 164 kilometers northeast of San Salvador, where a landslide destroyed several houses, according to the director of the Civil Protection, Jorge Meléndez.

Meanwhile, a woman died inside her car, crushed by a tree knocked down by strong winds on the road in the municipality of Jujutla, southwest of the Salvadoran capital.

In Costa Rica, one man was killed by a tree falling onto his house in the Nicoya Peninsula.

An 11-year-old boy was reported missing in Guatemala. The boy was dragged along the Petacalapa River on Friday, in an area bordering Mexico.

Tragic reminders

The State Permanent Contingency Commission (COPESCO) of Honduras declared a red alert in the departments of Francisco Morazán, which includes Tegucigalpa, Choluteca and Valle, where about 3,000 victims had to be housed.

In Tegucigalpa, Francisca Salgado, 45. fled in terror with her husband and three small children when the current of the Choluteca River washed over her house and dragged her downstream. The same thing happened to her 20 years ago.

“The same thing happened with Hurricane Mitch,” Francisca said to AFP at a shelter at the Betania Colony school, south of the capital.

Hurricane Mitch was the worst natural disaster in Honduran history. It hit in the last week of October 1998 and caused 6,000 deaths, 8,000 disappearances, and losses estimated at a $5 billion.

Francisca rebuilt her home in the sandy riverbed of the Choluteca River, which divides Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela, the twin cities that make up the Honduran capital, with more than a million inhabitants.

Francisca said that, as was the case 20 years ago, she had to flee her home, built with scraps of boards and sheets of zinc.

Her neighbors helped her out with her three children, 3, 7 and 8 years old, and her husband, José Rolando Triminio, 63 years old. The current took the house with the little they had.

Along with 213 other families, they were housed in four classrooms of the Juan Guifarro López de la Betania School and an adjoining kindergarten, all arranged on mattresses on the floor. Some had the kitchen utensils they managed to rescue.

The head of Copeco, Lisandro Rosales, said that 7,013 people were affected by the rains, of which 3,069 had to be evacuated and 2,746 sheltered.

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