Every year people living in Central America feel some impact from fierce Atlantic Ocean hurricanes that blow westward from June through November. This year’s rains, causing flash floods and landslides, have been especially damaging across Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.
Since summer, thousands of Mexicans have had to flee their homes due to an unrelenting series of storms, according to Reuters. Hurricane Alex, the first of 13 named storms so far, dumped water and mud in the city of Monterrey in July, killing six and washing away animals from the city zoo. In the state of Oaxaca, four people are confirmed dead and 12 missing in one indigenous town. Eight people died from a collapsed hill outside Mexico City, and a mudslide killed workers trying to remove earth and debris from a road. In the port city of Veracruz, Hurricane Karl left some 15 people dead and roads and bridges unusable.
In Guatemala, landslides and flash floods have killed more than 260 people. Farmers lost grain, banana, and sugar crops. One storm created sinkholes in Guatemala City, the nations’ capital. As early as May and June, some 80,000 Guatemalan residents were forced to evacuate their homes.
Honduras was also badly hit: Tropical Storm Matthew inundated sugar cane fields that had already been washed out from earlier rains. According to Reuters, sugar growers have had to cut their estimates of sugar production for 2010-2011. The Central America region had planned for a bigger sugar crop this year to meet the import needs of Mexico, whose sugar harvests have been down. Sugar crops in El Salvador and Nicaragua reportedly have not been affected by the hurricanes.
Helping Children and Families Left Homeless by Floods
Hurricane destruction to Mexico and Central America is an annual occurrence that leaves a very real human toll.
SOS Children’s Villages, with a long-term presence in Mexico and Central America, provides emergency assistance — food and shelter — to families displaced by natural disasters such as flooding and landslides. Learn more at SOS Children’s Villages today.
photo credit: SOS Children's Villages
image shows flooding in Central America
By Kyna Rubin, SOS Children's Villages