Tropical Storm “Eta” continues to rage in Central America. Hundreds of people are missing. The storm then hit the island of Cuba.
Nearly 200 people have died or are still missing in Central America during the “Eta” storm. Guatemala alone has 150 dead or missing from landslides, President Alejandro Giammattei said Friday (local time). About 50 other deaths or missing persons were recorded in seven other Central American countries. According to the US Hurricane Warning Center (NHC), “Eta” will hit Cuba on Sunday.
Wind speeds of 140 kilometers per hour
The storm hit Nicaragua on Tuesday as a Category 4 hurricane. It reached wind speeds of 140 kilometers per hour. It had since weakened as it passed through Nicaragua and Honduras. Due to heavy rains, it continued to cause destruction in Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, and Mexico.
“Eta” will probably meet Cuba on Sunday. The U.S. Hurricane Center warned that the storm could regain its strength if it reached warm Caribbean waters. It could then threaten southeastern Mexico, as well as the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and southern Florida.
“Eta” has left great havoc in Central America. In the north of Guatemala, which has so far had the most victims, the village of Queja was completely buried by a landslide. According to President Giammattei, soldiers there help with the rescue work. In the place, which was mainly inhabited by indigenous peoples, about 150 houses lie buried under mud. Continuous rain made the search difficult and caused further landslides, roads were blocked.
In Mexico, at least 20 people die from water
The port city of Bilwi, the main hub in northern Nicaragua, was cut off from the rest of the country when a river overflowed. In Chiapas, one of the poorest areas of Mexico, at least 20 people have been killed by water from flooded rivers, according to local authorities.
In Honduras, eight people were buried under their collapsed houses or drowned in the floods. The head of the civil protection service warned there could be more casualties.
The water on the surface of the oceans is getting warmer due to climate change. According to experts, this increases the chance that destructive cyclones can form. People in the world’s coastal regions are particularly exposed to the dangers of devastating storms.