Floods Damage Banana Crops as Honduras Awaits Tropical Storm Hanna

Heavy rainfall in the department of Colón on 25 October 2014 caused flooding in the municipalities of Balfate, Sonaguera and Iriona. River levels in the area are high and several families have been evacuated.

And things are about to get a lot worse in the next 48 hours as Tropical Storm Hanna moves inland over Honduras and Nicaragua. According to NOAA:

The deep convection associated with the remnants of Tropical Depression Nine have persisted and become better organized since yesterday so advisories have been re-initiated, with the system being upgraded to Tropical Storm Hanna. The main hazard associated with Hanna will be very heavy rainfall. Hanna could produce 10 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches across Honduras and northern Nicaragua. These rains will likely produce flash flooding and mud slides. This image was taken by GOES East at 1415Z on October 27, 2014.

Tropical Storm Hanna. Image: NOAA
Tropical Storm Hanna. Image: NOAA

Recent Rainfall in Honduras

In a 24 hour period between 25 and 26 October, 60 mm of rain fell in Roatan, Bay Islands. Between 26 and 27 October, 52.4 mm of rain was recorded in Yoro, department of Honduras.

floods Honduras
Radar image showing rainfall per hour in Honduras 25 October 2014. Image: COPECO

Mosquito Increase

COPECO (Comision Permanente de Contingencias), the country’s disaster management agency, have now turned their attentions to controlling the mosquito population. It is feared that the prolonged floods would lead to an increase in mosquito numbers and therefore a higher risk of mosquito-borne disease.

After the floods - Mosquito control begins in honduras. Image: COPECO
After the floods – Mosquito control begins in honduras. Image: COPECO
After the floods - Mosquito control begins in honduras. Image: COPECO
After the floods – Mosquito control begins in honduras. Image: COPECO

400 Hectares of Banana Crops Lost

Local media are reporting that so far the flooding, which initially began around 10 days ago, has damaged or destroyed at least 400 hectares of banana crops, causing considerable economic losses.

Jacobo Paz , head of the country’s ministry of agriculture (Secretaría de Ganadería y Agricultura – SAG), said that banana crops are particularly susceptible to floods. The ministry’s initial assessments indicate that banana farmers in the north of the country have been hardest hit.