Hurricanes Eta & Iota
On November 4th, Hurricane Eta ripped through Central America with powerful winds up to 150 miles per hour, unleashing more than 30 inches of heavy rains, causing flooding and mudslides in Honduras. Thirteen days later, Hurricane Iota, an even stronger storm, followed in the same path, bringing more heavy winds and rains on an already flooded and devastated Honduras. These back-to-back hurricanes are the worst natural disaster this country has ever seen.
The epicenter of Eta’s destruction is near the northern coast, around San Pedro Sula, the country’s second-largest city and economic center, home to more than 2 million people. In the valley surrounding San Pedro Sula, several rivers and flood canals overflowed so high that more than 28,000 people were trapped for days on rooftops without food or water.
In the mountain areas, landslides destroyed hundreds of roads and brought destruction to many small communities, making some inaccessible. More than 20 bridges have been destroyed, 25 have been damaged, and the agricultural loss is incalculable.
An estimated 3.5 million people have been affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, bringing the poverty rate from 60% to 75% of Honduras’ population. Over 130,000 people have been displaced and are living in temporary shelters during this global pandemic. It will take years for Honduras to recover from this storm.
What is Friends of Barnabas doing to help people affected by Hurricanes Eta & Iota?
Friends of Barnabas is committed to serving our 30 partner communities and the 300 children in our Extended Care Program (ECP).
Our staff has maintained steady contact with our Extended Care Program parents and community leaders from the early warnings of Hurricane Eta until now, as we make our assessments of damages in each community and family home.
We are providing life-saving medications and education to this most vulnerable population. Our staff is delivering medications to our Extended Care patients throughout Honduras as well as refilling Barnabas Medicine Boxes in some of our partner communities. Our nurses are working closely with community health volunteers as well as community leaders and they are providing education on COVID-19, safe drinking water practices, and mosquito borne illnesses, all of which are issues that are of greater concern with the flooding and displacement brought on by Hurricane Eta. We continue to assess damages and needs in each community and family; and we will further determine programmatic needs in the weeks to come.
Our blessing of the George M. Blair Memorial Well at the Barnabas House has allowed us to share the benefit of clean water with local communities and partners in need.