The remnants of Hurricane Eta triggered torrential rains and catastrophic flooding in Central America, killing at least 21 people and turning the streets into rivers as dozens in Guatemala were said to have been buried in their homes by landslides.
Families waded through the flooded streets of the northern Honduran town of San Pedro Sula, while cars were nearly submerged in parts of central Guatemala’s town of San Pedro Carcha, TV footage and footage showed. posted on social media.
“The situation is serious, it is shocking and must be dealt with professionally, quickly,” Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez told HCH television, highlighting reports of people stranded or stranded on the roofs of flooded houses.
The damage and destruction had spread to the “vast majority” of Honduras and speedboats and helicopters would be dispatched to rescue people in inaccessible areas, Hernandez said.
One of the fiercest storms to hit Central America in years, Eta struck Nicaragua on Tuesday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 miles per hour (241 km / h) before weakening into a tropical depression as it moved inland and into neighboring Honduras.
Authorities on Thursday confirmed at least five deaths in Guatemala and seven in Honduras. Media in Nicaragua also reported that two miners died in a mudslide.
In the Guatemalan town of San Cristobal Verapaz, located about 193 km north of Guatemala City, 15 houses have “probably” been covered by landslides, probably affecting 75 people, the relief agency said on Thursday. disaster victims Conred in a statement.
President Alejandro Giammattei declared a state of emergency in nearly half of the country’s 22 departments earlier today.
In Guatemala and Panama, several people have been reported missing, while in Honduras, hundreds of people are stranded on rooftops waiting to be rescued as the water level continues to rise.
In southern Costa Rica, a landslide killed two people in a house, a Costa Rican and an American, officials said. Meanwhile, five people, including three children, have died in the flooding in Panama’s Chiriqui province, near the border with Costa Rica, authorities said.
There was better news in Honduras, where 60 fishermen who had disappeared at sea on Tuesday returned after taking refuge on cays until they were rescued, community leader Robin Morales said.
Calling their survival a “miracle,” Morales said a man among them presumed dead of a heart attack had also returned.
“Our friends are alive, thank goodness,” he said.
In parts of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica, high winds and heavy rains damaged houses, roads and bridges, forcing thousands of people to seek shelter in shelters.
Eta was moving northwest through Honduras to the Caribbean at 8 mph on Thursday, the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Heavy rains continued and the storm’s top winds reached 56 km / h.
An unidentified woman made a desperate plea for help on Honduran television from La Lima, a municipality southeast of San Pedro Sula.
“I have five children on the roof of my house and no one is helping me bring them down,” she said.
Eta is expected to return to sea and regain momentum in the form of a tropical storm, possibly reaching the Cayman Islands, Cuba and southern Florida in the coming days, the NHC said.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)