Lightning Can Strike the Same Place Twice: Hurricanes ETA and Iota in Nicaragua
News agencies are reporting on the path of two hurricanes following almost the same route in Central America, specifically through Nicaragua. “In a one-two punch, Hurricane Iota roared ashore as a dangerous Category 4 storm along almost precisely the same stretch of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast that was devastated by an equally powerful Hurricane Eta 13 days earlier. Iota had intensified into a hazardous Category 5 storm during the day Monday. Still, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said it weakened slightly as it neared the coast late Monday and made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. It hit the coast about 30 miles south of the Nicaraguan city of Puerto Cabezas, also known as Bilwi.
On Tuesday morning, Iota still carried hurricane-force winds as a Category 1 storm, moving inland over northern Nicaragua with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. It was about 135 miles east of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, moving westward at 12 mph. The storm was forecast to cross southern Honduras late Tuesday.” Please, see the link: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hurricane-iota-central-america-landfall-after-eta/
Global Ministries Partners in Nicaragua (the Moravian Church in Nicaragua, the Interchurch Center for Theological and Social Studies, and the Nicaraguan Evangelical University) shared information about Nicaraguan authorities as well as their own assessment at this moment. It is reported that 200 millimeters of rain fell only on the North Caribbean Coast. In the isthmus of Rivas, they said 150 millimeters, in five hours. They are expecting significant rains in the Pacific, in the West, and in Rivas. Soils in the North Caribbean Coast and in the mining triangle reach 85 to 90% saturation. There are already floods in Tola, the Ochomongo Rivera has risen its level, and families near its streams were evacuated. They also reported more than 40,000 people in shelters.
They remain attentive to the direct effects of the rains and intense winds, plus the soil’s accumulated humidity. It is essential to remind that, just about 15 days ago, they suffered the onslaught of Hurricane ETA. The two hurricanes’ cumulative impact will surely be profound as they continue assessing damages in the upcoming days.
Let me share two reflections from the Reverend Jorge Fedrick, part of the Miskito indigenous community and Moravian pastor in Nicaragua:
In Nicaragua, some communities were completely destroyed. The floods will make our peoples go through famine, and many will remain anonymous as they are washed away by the flooding of rivers and mudslides. Now the tremendous immediate challenges are emergency food, medicine, and emotional therapies. Some cemeteries were uncovered. The rancid smell will also bring diseases and reconstruction in the face of so much uncertainty making it more desperate. Still, I fully trust my brothers and sisters’ contributions from other parts of the country and abroad. May the Creator give us comfort and strength in the face of so many challenges, but I also remind you that God never abandons its people, and we have to be aware of our relationship with God on a transcendental plane. A big hug, and may the peace of Our Creator accompany all of us on this long journey.
Global Ministries continues gathering information and inviting churches to pray and to accompany our siblings in Nicaragua.