Central America – 1 Dead, 1000s Evacuated as Floods Affect Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama

Several countries in Central America have seen heavy rain and flooding since 18 October. One person has died, hundreds have been evacuated and thousands of homes damaged.

Local media say that the heavy rain is a result of two low pressure systems, one in the west over the Pacific Ocean and the other to east of Nicaragua, over the Caribbean.

In Nicaragua the heavy rain and flooding has affected the departments of Managua, Matagalpa and Chontales. As many as 709 homes have been damaged, with 674 of them in Tipitapa in Managua department.

Nicaragua’s disaster management agency, Sistema Nacional para la Prevención, Mitigación y Atención de Desastre (SINAPRED) reported that a young girl died while attempting to cross the swollen Sapote River in the municipality of San Dionisio, Matagalpa department.

In Juigalpa, Chontales department, 17 families have been forced to evacuate and are currently staying in temporary shelter in a nearby school.

In Honduras, COPECO (Comisión Permanente de Contingencias) reports that heavy rain has been affecting the country over the past few days, causing floods and landslides. Over 100 houses have been damaged and traffic has been disrupted in the departments of Francisco Morazan, Valle, Choluteca and El Paraíso.

WMO rainfall figures for a 24 hour period in Honduras:

  • 19 to 20 October, Tegucigalpa 48.1 mm
  • 18 to 19 October, Amapala 114.8 mm; La Ceiba Airport 52.8 mm
  • 15 to 16 October, Puerto Lempira 89.1 mm

In El Salvador, at least 30 people were evacuated on Thursday 20 October, 2016, when the Grande de San Miguel River overflowed in San Miguel department. In a 24 hour period between 18 and 19 October, 58 mm of rain was recorded in San Miguel, according to WMO figures.

In Panama, Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil (SINAPROC) reported that 3,500 people have been affected by heavy rain and flooding in the provinces of Darién and Los Santos.

Further south, heavy rain and flooding has affected over 12,000 families in the department of Choco, Colombia.