Disasters & Accidents

Julia leaves least 4 dead, floods and landslides in Central America

Panama City, Oct 9 (EFE).- Julia, downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall in Nicaragua Sunday as a category one hurricane, has left at least four people dead, as well as landslides and floods in Central America.

The National Hurricane Center of the United States said that although Julia is no longer a hurricane, the threat of floods and landslides remains in Central America, which has been on alert since Thursday.

In Honduras, a 22-year-old woman died on Sunday when she was swept down a creek, and a man and a six-year-old boy drowned trying to cross a river. A girl is missing.

According to unofficial information, another seven people are missing after a boat capsized in the Mosquita sector, Gracias a Dios.

The authorities have asked the residents of several municipalities in northern Honduras for preventive evacuation due to the rise of large rivers that cross the area, the most affected by bad weather in Honduras, where there are several thousand people in shelters and classes were suspended.

In Panama, a woman died Friday night when her home was devastated by a landslide in the Caribbean province of Colón as a result of Julia’s rains, the National Civil Protection System told EFE.

In the western province of Chiriquí, bordering Costa Rica, 200 people remained Sunday in a shelter in the Highlands, where there were landslides and swollen rivers that cut off some areas.

Monday’s classes are suspended in Panama.

In Nicaragua, when it hit the Caribbean coast as a hurricane, Julia’s 140-kilometers-per-hour winds tore the roofs off houses, downed electrical wiring and knocked down trees. The area has just begun to recover the communications it lost.

The Nicaraguan authorities have not reported deaths from Julia, which exited the country on Sunday night, leaving a high risk of disasters due to flooding of rivers and possible landslides.

More than 13,000 people who had been evacuated in the Caribbean zone could return to refuge centers if necessary, indicated various sources from the National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Attention to Disasters.

National and international flights remained suspended in Nicaragua Sunday.

In neighboring Costa Rica, the effects of Julia caused storm conditions with flooding and at least 300 people remained in shelters, authorities reported Sunday.

In El Salvador on Sunday, the Civil Protection authorities called on citizens, especially those who live near the Pacific and vulnerable areas, to evacuate preventively in the face of the effects that the rains caused by Julia may cause.

Civil Protection decreed a national red alert and the Ministry of Education ordered the suspension of classes in public and private entities for Monday.

The Guatemalan Red Cross reported flooding on Sunday in towns on the Atlantic coast, due to the constant rain.

The Pacific coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador are under a tropical storm warning and that of Guatemala is under watch, which means that Julia will arrive later in that country, according to NHC data.

In this context, the International Red Cross asked the countries this Sunday to guarantee humanitarian assistance to the thousands of irregular migrants who are now in transit through Central America.

These travelers are oblivious to any early warning of the countries through which they transit and are without access to timely information on weather conditions or places of refuge, which leaves them extremely vulnerable, said International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies engagement and accountability regional manager Diana Medina. EFE


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