Field Report: Hurricane Iota

Field Report: Hurricane Iota

Don Roosevelt Donaire in his corn field, Sutiaba Indigenous Region, León, Nicaragua

Background

Following the same destructive path of Hurricane Eta which affected the region in early November, Hurricane Iota has developed into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes of the season. The storm made landfall the morning of Monday, November 16th hitting Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 mph. 

Currently, Hurricane Iota has been downgraded to a tropical storm with sustained winds of 44 mph and is severely affecting the northern and Pacific regions of Nicaragua where we work. Country-wide advisories have warned of “heavy rains and life-threatening floods,” these conditions are expected to significantly impact vulnerable communities in Nicaragua, and Honduras, areas that were devastated by Hurricane Eta. 

Sutiaba indigenous region: Vulnerable rural communities at risk.

A map of VL's communities, Goyena and Troilo, and the farms that we work with (in green).
A map of VL's communities, Goyena and Troilo, and the farms that we work with (in green).

On Tuesday, November 17th, Hurricane Iota made its way into the Department of León.

Our Communities: Goyena & Troilo

The water levels at the Goyena River have increased and will likely overflow and affect the neighborhood of Arístides Sánchez. In this sector, many families live on the river bank placing them under increasing flood risk. One of those affected is our farmer, Don Roosevelt Donaire, whose onion and other crops are at risk of being lost due to flooding.

In Nueva Vida, the bridge that connects the neighborhood with the surrounding community has been damaged as both water and debris brought by the rains obstruct any passage.

In Las Pampas, a majority of the neighborhood is underwater as most of the neighborhood is located in low lying areas. 

Throughout much of Goyena roads have become impassable due to high levels of water making the once dry roads muddy and unsuitable for vehicles. 

The water levels at the Nahualapa River have significantly increased putting at risk the community of Troilo. Roads have become impassable due to the heavy rains and flooding. 

VL's Agroforestry Director speaking with one of our farmers on methods to reduce the impact of fungus on their crops.
VL's Agroforestry Director speaking with one of our farmers on methods to reduce the impact of fungus on their crops.

ViviendasLeón’s Smallholder Farmers

One of ViviendasLeón’s major worries is the impact the rains will have on our farmers’ crops. The oversaturation of the ground creates a prime environment for pests and fungus, significantly harming plants during the early development stage. Crops like grains, rice, beans, corn, leafy vegetables, and legumes are at risk during this time. Additionally, excessive rains flood plants, depriving them of much-needed oxygen and nutrients causing them to die. Our Agroforestry Director, Lesbia Alvarado, has been advising our farmers on methods to combat pests produced from excessive rain.

Make an Impact

We have seen this happen before: In 1998 Hurricane Mitch destroyed food crops and killed more than 3,000 people in the León region alone. Help us to help families avoid the most devastating effects of these powerful storms by donating today. Every dollar donated will go directly to families who are working to support their communities with secure food supplies.

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