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The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

GALLERY: Prom 2024
GALLERY: Prom 2024
April 7, 2024

The impact of Hurricane Eta in Central America

By Stefania Da Graca
Staff Writer

On November 1, Eta’s weather system was declared a tropical storm on the eastern Caribbean Sea. The storm quickly intensified, hitting Hurricane status by November 2 and as a category four hurricane with 150mph winds. It slammed into Nicaragua, hit Honduras, Cuba, The Florida Keys, and the Gulf of Mexico. More impoverished Caribbean places were not prepared for this storm and are currently suffering from the storm’s damage.

 The storm rapidly advanced, causing a lot of damage in Nicaragua. “Eta began to make landfall there were reports of corrugated metal roofs flying off homes, trees, poles and power lines falling, and rivers rising in the coastal area.” Guillermo González, director of Nicaragua’s emergency management agency, said to USAtoday. The storm hit with a surge 21 feet above normal tides, destroying many coastal homes. Residents from outer islands and low-lying areas were moved to shelters.

In Honduras, 1.5 million children were in danger due to the floods, and significant side effects are expected from the floods and diseases from the lack of clean water. Additionally, the high floodwater caused a wall to collapse in a jail located in the northern Honduran city of El Progreso, where more than 600 inmates were forced to evacuate. After declaring a red alert in 18 departments, the airports remain closed. More than 300,000 people are affected, with thousands in shelters, hundreds of people rescued. Forty percent of the population has been exposed to dirty water.

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Eta then hit the coast of Cuba, causing flash floods. Water levels rose 2 or 4 feet above high tide, flooding streets, washing out houses, and causing more extreme wind damage. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are not prepared to handle this type of storm. The lack of resources becomes apparent during emergencies, causing hurt. There were 23 deaths reported in Central America alone in Honduras, 9,000 without homes in Nicaragua, and 1.6 million nationwide. 

“The government’s in that area don’t take care of these countries as they should” said Nairy Reboredo, who has worked at MAST for ten years now and takes her time to help and be informed on the current situation in Honduras. In the Honduran communities, the citizens had to take charge of paying and collaborating to have electricity since the government’s electricity companies were nowhere to be found after the storm, “it’s going to be a long, long time to recover,” mentioned Reboredo. Small communities such as San Pedro Sula don’t have electricity. They will lack many of these resources for an extended amount of time since the government isn’t taking care of its country as it should.

After Eta hit South Florida, schools were canceled for a day because of the flooding, but the cities were quickly able to drain the streets and repair downed power lines. Eta had weakened to a tropical storm, and there was less damage. Everything returned to normal after a couple of days in the US. Still, it will take a long time for the Central American countries to recover from a storm now considered the second-most strongest November hurricane in history.

Ways to help? Organizations like the Honduras Solidarity Network distribute donations to local community-based organizations. the HSN, The Humanity and Hope United Foundation, and others are responding to the crisis by donating. They are helping to provide food, clothing, and other necessities such as medicines that are currently very needed since thousands of families lost their homes. 

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The impact of Hurricane Eta in Central America