The climate catastrophe has long been taking place – and once again it is hitting the poorest: never before have there been so many tropical storms in the Atlantic as this year. And Hurricane Iota, which reached the Nicaraguan coast last night, is the most violent storm ever recorded at this time of year - just after Hurricane Eta hit Central America a few days ago. Houses are without roofs, communication is interrupted and heavy rainfall has flooded entire regions. More than 150 people are dead and many more are missing. And millions have become homeless.
"It is a catastrophe for the people here on the coast, they have lost everything," says Dr. Moisés Gonzalez Argūello from the medico partner organization Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC) in eastern Nicaragua. Since the first hurricane at the beginning of November, AMC's emergency aid workers have been providing the people in the region with the most basic necessities. They distribute drinking water, food and hygiene articles. Now they are continuing their work under even more difficult conditions.
The poorest are most affected
Since the 1990s, the number of climate- and weather-related disasters has risen by almost 35 percent in every decade. And already since the 1980s, not only the number of storms has been increasing, but also their intensity. "There are those responsible for these natural disasters: It is the effect of climate change that we feel more strongly every year. The poorest are the most affected. And once again they are being abandoned: Tens of thousands who fled the storm warnings now find themselves in overcrowded mass accommodation – in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic.
The strong hurricanes hit a region that is repeatedly plagued by natural disasters. In 1998 it was Hurricane Mitch. In Nicaragua at that time more than 2500 people died due to landslides caused by the heavy rainfall. Hence, medico supported local partners in providing emergency aid and the sustainable reconstruction of the communities.
Our partners of Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC) became active immediately after Hurricane Eta and are now caring for the affected population in the Río Coco Abajo region on Nicaragua's Atlantic coast. They are once again bearing the consequences of a destructive way of life.