The loans were to assist in rebuilding damaged infrastructure, including for water systems, transportation, and houses. Hurricane Mitch formed on October 22 in the southwestern Caribbean Sea, and it eventually intensified into a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale by October 26. While near peak intensity, Mitch struck the offshore Guanaja island, where it nearly destroyed the mangrove forest. , An estimated 70–80% of transportation network was destroyed, including most bridges and secondary roads, amounting to $236 million in damage.  High waves eroded northern coastlines and damaged lagoons.  The national gross domestic product (GDP) only grew at a rate of 3% due to the storm, compared with 5.1% in 1997, due to damaged infrastructure and lingering effects. Several European Countries sent aid to Honduras, in addition to donations from the European Union.  Hurricane Mitch set back the economies of various countries in the region, including Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador, after they had improved throughout the 1990s. Over 70% of the transportation infrastructure was damaged, mostly damaged highways and bridges.  Housing costs were estimated at $344 million, including $221 million in housing damage; the rest included the costs for shelters, removal of debris, and loss of rent.  When the track was more westward than expected, the NHC recommended early on October 26 for a hurricane warning to be issued for the northeastern Honduran coast, although difficulties in communications prevented their immediate implementation.  The storm injured 12,272 people nationwide, mostly in Choluteca and Cortés departments.  Severe flooding occurred in the northern region, which washed away more than 25 entire villages. , Honduras's Social Fund for Housing estimated that 35,000 houses nationwide were destroyed with another 50,000 damaged, many of which were poorly built or in flood-prone areas. I could not help but remember Hurricane Mitch and its complete devastation on the island of Guanaja.. , Overall, Hurricane Mitch killed about 7,000 people in Honduras, with 11,000 missing in the months after the storm. Hurricane Mitch is 110 Kms West of Roatan. Arboretum Bucket List For Free Beaches: West Bay (Tabyana), Sandy Bay, Mahogany each, Half Moon ay, Palm each. In Guanaja, the pine forests were decimated after the 180 miles per hour winds literally sand blasted the bark off the trees. Hurricane Mitch formed on October 22 in the southwestern Caribbean Sea, and it eventually intensified into a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale by October 26.  Six maquiladora factories were damaged in the northern portion of the country, and one was destroyed in La Ceiba.  The widespread flooding and the crippled infrastructure forced officials to rely on a limited number of helicopters to operate search and rescue missions and deliver supplies. The humanitarian aid that came in was overwhelming and not surprisingly, from foreigners. , On October 27, the S/V Fantome, a schooner, last reported its location to the south of Guanaja, while trying to escape the brunt of the storm. Residents in lower elevations of the city are being warned to relocate to higher ground. Mitch changed the course of history in Central America in 1998, but its most lasting impacts were not the destruction wrought by the hurricane itself.  The flooding caused the Choluteca River to change its course, forming an avulsion.  The combined damage to transportation, communication, utilities, including power and water, was estimated at $665 million. Other landslides destroyed over 20 houses along the rivers in the city due to erosion along river banks.  As a result, most classes that would have gone until November 30 were ended about a month early, allowing teachers to assist in helping others. The government increased emergency spending and created a National Emergency Commission. There were deaths in every department, however. By Wednesday, October 28 it was essentially stationary over the islands of Guanaja and Roatan off the coast of Honduras, about 170 miles southeast of Belize City. , Across Honduras, agriculture sustained serious damage, with initial estimates of 70% of crops destroyed. The HMS Sheffield ended up coming to the aid of Guanaja. [98: Hurricane Mitch. Since Hurricane Mitch, I've had no luck getting in touch w/ employees at PDS or finding out the status on Dean and his family. Roofs had been ripped from above you. This is also an opportunity to discover the resilience of the human spirit. Reports have come in that Roatan has indeed been hit. In contrast to roads, there was little railway damage. Damage in Punta Gorda, Pollitilly Bight, and Crawfish Rock included homes being lifted up by the high water and being moved.  Most mangrove trees were an average of 11.2 m (37 ft) in height before they fell. By that time, the hurricane was just north of the coast of Honduras, and was expected by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and various tropical cyclone forecast models to turn to the north.  There were 8,000 people listed as missing about ten days after Mitch struck, although problems with record-keeping made it difficult to determine the exact total.  The total of 120.4 mm (4.74 in) on October 30 broke the record set in 1966 for the wettest day. The 25 member committee voted in support to replace the name with "Matthew", which was first used in 2004.  In the latter department, the Cangrejal River left heavy damage along its path after it flooded. Overcrowding at shelters caused various diseases. As many as 7,000 Hondurans lost their lives on the mainland due to flooding and moving debris. Some left to stay with relatives during the hurricane. Telephones are operative, but there has been no flying or boat trips since 4:00 p.m. Monday - October 26th, 1998 - 9:30 p.m. Officials set up shelters that housed 285,000 people for about a month. Roatan is safe from hurricanes on a general basis. You are sick, you are tired and your soul is weary. Hurricane Mitch passed very near Guanaja and approximately 40 km to the east of Roatan as a cat- These remains were given a Christian burial but never identified. By Wednesday, October 28th Mitch was situated directly over the islands of Guanaja and Roatan off the coast of Honduras. The economy had been growing at a rate similar to the previous year until Mitch struck, and was largely dependent on exports. We landed on a desolated island with not even a green blade of grass visible. , Due to the hurricane and the widespread destruction, the hurricane caused outbreaks of malaria, dengue, cholera, and various fever and respiratory illnesses. Without doubt, every storm is different, and the only thing I can say for sure if comparing Hurricane Dorian vs Hurricane Mitch is that it is one heck of terrifying experience that no one should have!  Many of the people left homeless also became unemployed, and there were reductions in exports and economic growth.  Mitch also destroyed 123 health facilities nationwide and wrecked 4,835, or 23%, of the nation's classrooms. It also killed an estimated 11,000 people in Nicaragua and Honduras, primarily through landslides. On the mainland of Honduras there were exceedingly more casualties, than in Guanaja, which took the full brunt of a category 5 hurricane for three days and nights.  In the country's interior, particularly the southern portion, the high rainfall caused hundreds of landslides, many of them shallow and about 95% in the form of debris flow. , On the offshore Guanaja island, waters rose about 2 m (6.6 ft) during the storm. The Bahamas have my best wishes for a speedy recovery and my condolences for the lives lost. … Then there are the heartwarming parts.  Two days of winds exceeding 200 km/h (120 mph) destroyed nearly all of the plants and trees on Guanaja, uprooting or knocking down almost the entire mangrove forest. About 73% of the population was living in poverty when the storm struck.  Within a few hours, a hurricane warning was in place between Limón to the Honduras and Nicaragua border, including the offshore Swan Island. On the island of Guanaja, mangroves were almost destroyed by the passage of Hurricane Mitch in 1998.Evaluations of the damage three years later concluded that there are few (if any) signs of natural recovery. The forecast path of the storm was still west-northwest, which should have taken it well north of Roatan and the mainland of Honduras." Bay Islands, group of small islands of northern Honduras. , Overall cost for reconstruction was estimated at $2.5 billion, which was estimated to take four years.  Many businesses shut down, leaving many people unemployed who already lost their homes. , In mainland Honduras, the winds were not as damaging as the rainfall, although offshore islands sustained heavy damage due to high winds.  This caused inflation to increase from 13.6% to 15.7%. List of Figures Figure 1. The Pan American Health Organization focused on restoring water systems by providing latrines, while UNICEF sent large water tanks. As we live in the path of these ever-increasing massive hurricanes, we must all be prepared for a possible disaster. Another smaller landslide destroyed several houses in the Colonia El Reparto section of the capital, although it was also slow-moving, and the residents were able to evacuate.  High winds near the coast knocked down trees, particularly in mountainous areas.  In 1999, the economy of Honduras contracted by 1.9%, largely due to the storm. A helicopter carrying four people, including Tegucigalpa mayor and potential presidential candidate César Castellanos, crashed on November 1 while touring flood damage, killing everyone aboard. A total of 9,198 m (30,177 ft) of bridges were damaged or destroyed, and an additional 2,045 m (6,709 ft) of approach roads were likewise damaged. There was the lack of clean drinking water, there were no medical supplies, and no electricity. The most memorable have been Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 while in Cancun and Hurricane Mitch in 1998. They ended up spending 72 hours lying flat on an old abandoned airstrip praying for Mitch to finally move on. I’ve seen some mentioning of Hurricane Mitch – a HUGE late October Category 5 storm that followed a somewhat similar path in 1998 – a loop around Belize. Hurricane Mitch. The last major direct hit that Honduras suffered was Hurricane Mitch in 1998. "Atlantic hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2)", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Effects_of_Hurricane_Mitch_in_Honduras&oldid=986601221, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 November 2020, at 21:30. Hurricane Mitch baffled hurricane experts with its unpredictable movement. I will personally carry it to Roatan on the 19th of November and my husband (A local from Punta Gorda) and I will distribute it on a "most needy" basis. The island, once green was now completely brown.  In Tegucigalpa, where the Choluteca River was dammed by a landslide, a temporary lagoon filled with sewage persisted for about two months, until a crew from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and United States Geological Survey dug a channel to drain the water. However, two earthflows caused significant damage near Tegucigalpa.  Montane trees likewise experienced severe damage, although they made a recovery within a year. I am leaving for Roatan on November 19 and would like to take as much money as possible so I can get my project underway. Worth The Extra $€¥ Discover the real Roatán beyond the 5* resorts and bounty-beaches: Community tour.  Flooding damaged or destroyed industrial areas of Honduras, which affected exports and domestic products. The rains caused widespread flooding and landslides, although impact from winds was not as severe. This landslide, the largest generated by Mitch in the country, destroyed the Colonia Soto section and damaged portions of two other neighborhoods. islands of Guanaja and Roatan, Honduras, impacted by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 to determine if collapse of underlying peat was occurring as a result of mass tree mortality. Damage was heaviest in Colón and Atlántida departments.  Crop and agricultural damage totaled about $1 billion, which would take the country years to recover. The World Food Programme provided $17 million worth of food to the country. Nothing was clean or dry.  Near the coast, high waves destroyed hotels and houses while swollen rivers flooded nearby areas. There are so many examples of neighbors helping neighbors and foreign governments lending a hand. Hurricane Eta battered Bay Islands with heavy winds and rain causing island wide loss of electricity, localized landslides and internet and cell phone outages on November 3 and 4. Although the sky is still overcast and no stars are visible, at least it hasn't rained for hours. Box 2273, Salem, OR 97308. These were premier dive resorts that boasted celebrity visitors in the 1980s and 1990s. Within a month, there were repairs to the power grid to a level of 550 MW, or 91.7% of what it was before Mitch struck. The killer storm then turned to the southeast, eventually moving over land in Honduras, where it eventually lost strength. In Choluteca and Valle departments in the southern portion of the country, river flooding swept away houses and affected neighborhoods. In the capital, Tegucigalpa, a large landslide affected three neighborhoods and formed a temporary dam. There were a few roofs that were blown off in Pandy Town and Oak Ridge.  The Honduran government increased spending by 24.7%,. The government temporarily restricted constitutional rights for 15 days. You may ask if Guanaja received any government funds to help rebuild, any of the pardon of debt or incentives to rebuild the crippled economy post hurricane.  However, no mangrove trees had regrown there by three years after the storm struck, indicating the level of destruction. Please send checks and money orders made out to HURRICANE MITCH RELIEF, P.O. That includes the hotels that operated for decades on Guanaja prior to Mitch: Posada del Sol and Bayman Bay Club. I believe that Dean lived in Mangrove Bight prior to Hurricane Mitch. Hurricane Mitch, Videography 3 List of Tables Table 1. Their homes were on stilts over the sea and with a massive storm surge their homes get swept away.  Many of the dead were buried in mass graves or were cremated.  It carried debris, trees, and rocks, forming a temporary dam along the Choluteca River laden with sewage. That was the time when neighbors banded together to help each other. Domestic elites and foreign interests used the state of crisis and the need for reconstruction to pass sweeping reforms. Over 30% of the populations of Choluteca, Colón, and Cortés departments were left homeless. Again, Gert, thank you for all you have done. By that time, the hurricane was just north of the coast of Honduras, and was expected by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and various tropical cyclone forecast models to turn to the north. A portion went to purchasing and delivering food, while the majority utilized airplanes to participate in rescue missions and deliver supplies, such as plastic sheets and water. Hurricane Mitch making landfall in Honduras as a Category 1 hurricane on October 29, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Hurricane Mitch Intermediate Advisory Number 18A, Honduras: Assessment of the Damage Caused by Hurricane Mitch, 1998, Central America After Hurricane Mitch: The Challenge of Turning a Disaster into an Opportunity, Mitch: The Deadliest Atlantic Hurricane Since 1780, Landslides Triggered By Hurricane Mitch In Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Hurricane Mitch: Acute Impacts on Mangrove Forest Structure and an Evaluation of Recovery Trajectories, Hurricane Mitch: Landscape Analysis of Damaged Forest Resources of the Bay Islands and Caribbean Coast of Honduras, "Study of a Leptospirosis Outbreak in Honduras Following Hurricane Mitch and Prophylactic Protection of the vax-SPIRAL® Vaccine". A catastrophe like this is also an opportunity for rebuilding and strengthening. In short, they saved their bacon. 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