Storms, again, point up need for land restoration

Central America

Choluteca River overflows caused most of the flooding and erosion in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. (Photo by Fernando Aguilar)

Back-to-back hurricanes this month delivered punishing blows to the Caribbean coastal areas of Honduras and Nicaragua, reminding Central America—as if a reminder were needed—of the enormous disaster-preparedness challenges the region faces in the era of climate change. Twenty-two years after Hurricane Mitch devastated Central America—Honduras and Nicaragua in particular—hurricanes Eta and Iota provided the most recent evidence of the region’s failure to properly address its vulnerabilities to extreme weather. Coming just months after tandem tropical storms Amanda and Cristóbal put the region to the test in May and June, the latest blows began Oct. 28 with the U.S. National Hurricane Center’s detection in the Caribbean of a tropical depression with potential to become a tropical storm. Worse-case predictions won out, and Eta came ashore at Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua on Nov. 3 as a Category 4 hurricane. Relentless rains Eta... [Log in to read more]

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