Eta was a category 4 Hurricane when it hit the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. The wind speed hit as high as 240 km/h, enough to pull trees from their roots and flatten flimsy housing.
The rain that accompanied it caused floods that washed away livelihoods and lives; about 100 are counted dead at the time of writing, a number that’s set to increase over time.
Many of the impacted countries have coffee and cocoa farms, and some of these have been impacted significantly. Potentially 30% of Nicaragua’s Coca crops have been affected, and 15-20% of El-Salvador’s coffee harvest is at risk.
In Honduras alone, we have seen estimates from UNICEF of 1.8million people being displaced and, we suppose, homeless. 1.5 million children are listed as affected by the storm.
The damage to lives is immediate, but the damage to those depending on their harvest such as cocoa will linger for some time. Many farms are flooded and have simply lost their crops.
The storm moved on from Nicaragua to Honduras and Guatemala before going back out to sea and making its way to the coast of the USA.
In Guatemala we believe 200,000 people have been impacted, many of those again are farmers whose lands are now flooded and destroyed, along with buildings and other infrastructure. 30,000 people in Guatamala are living in temporary housing shelters.
Fairtrade reported that a number of their certified organisations have lost either crops or important infrastructure. These include APODIP, ASOBAGRI, CIPAC, FEDECOCAGUA.
The status of some other organisations are undetermined as they are out of contact at the moment.