On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, Hurricane Iota slammed into Nicaragua’s northeastern coast, making landfall near Haulover, just south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, as a category 4 storm with top winds at 155 mph. This is almost precisely the same spot that Hurricane Eta hit just two weeks before. Extensive damage from storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain has affected Nicaragua and Honduras just to the north.
In Nicaragua, over 60,000 persons were evacuated from their homes. Small towns such as Haulover were almost completely destroyed, with scarcely a structure remaining intact. There the Moravian Church building was left only with its front facade and steeple still standing. Many of these towns’ residents have been evacuated to Puerto Cabezas and are being housed in churches and schools. Conditions are crowded, and food and water are in short supply. Please watch this short video showing the damages in Haulover.
In Honduras, 8,000 people are in shelters, 10,000 people were evacuated from their homes, 12,000 manzanas (about 20,400 acres) of plantain, rice, and cacao have been lost. 350 homes, 87 schools, 33 health centers, and 10 municipal water systems have been damaged. Villages all along the seacoast such as Ují, Puswaia, Krata, Yauhrabila, Kruta, Irlaya, Benk, Raya, have been evacuated to Puerto Lempira schools. Rivers are still rising as water that had fallen inland make its way to the coastal low-lands. This flooding is contaminating wells and groundwater, which will be causing illnesses soon.
The most critical needs continue to be food, clean water, medicine, and building materials for temporary shelters and damaged homes.
The Board of World Mission is continuing to work with organizations such as Feed the Hungry, Habitat for Humanity, and Mission Aviation Fellowship to move these critical supplies into place.
The BWM has initially released more than $40,000 to help the three Moravian Provinces in the area do their essential work. More will be needed. We ask for your continued support of the Moravian Disaster Response fund, which allows the BWM to respond to disasters immediately with funds for emergency needs, as well as ongoing rebuilding projects. US residents can send donations to The Board of World Mission, 1021 Center St. Bethlehem, PA 18018. Canadian residents can send gifts to The Moravian Church in Canada, 600 Acadia Drive SE, Calgary, AB T2J 0B8.
To give online by going to www.moravianmission.org/give. Please mark your donation, “For MDR.”