Nicaragua hit by severe flooding and earthquakes
News from Nicaragua | Monday, 20 October 2014 |
Twenty-two people have been killed over the past few days as a result of constant heavy rains and severe flooding. An estimated 33,000 people have been affected, particularly in the northern region of the Caribbean Coast and Managua. Thousands of families living in low lying areas have been evacuated by the emergency services.
The country was already on yellow alert after an earthquake on 13 October registering 7.3 on the Richter scale that was followed by constant aftershocks. The emergency authorities have also warned that volcanoes in the Leon region are showing signs of increased activity.
2014 has been a year of extreme weather in Nicaragua. The first part of what should have been the rainy season saw the worse drought in three decades across the Central American region.
As Fatima Ismael, general manager of the agricultural co-operative SOPPEXCCA, explained in an interview for Nicaragua Now in early September ’.. the big problem this year has been drought, 40% less rain than usual. Crops have failed all over the country. Some farmers have lost 90% of the first harvest which raises concerns about food security.’
The major concern of the past few weeks is the loss of life and destruction of crops due to flooding.
Honduras and Nicaragua rank second and fourth respectively on a 2014 Global Climate Risk Index of countries suffering the most as a consequence of extreme weather.
As Vice President Moises Halleslevens stated at the UN Climate Summit in New York on 23 September, ‘It is developing countries who are at the mercy of the consequences of climate change, particularly the most vulnerable sectors, such as indigenous peoples, children, women and the elderly.’