Rains cause havoc across Central America
The Nicaragua Network says in its latest bulletin that heavy rains have damaged infrastructure, affected crops, and raised the risk of disease in many parts of the country. Honduras and El Salvador have also been hit by storms. Here's the full report (for more news, visit www.nicanet.org):
"Destroyed bridges in Jinotega, highways split apart by crevices in Rivas, Esteli nearly incommunicado. Those were the headlines from only one article in a Managua daily on Sept. 7. Other headlines from the week read: Health officials fear increase in vector borne illnesses; Rain affects bean planting in Matagalpa; Government works to identify more sites for shelters; Suspected cases of dengue on the increase; Port Carlos Fonseca under water; ENABAS buying beans from farmers to dry in silos; 350 kilometers of streets damaged in Managua; Four months of rain and many have no home to return to; More rain expected; Number of deaths total 43; Government guarantees food in shelters; Don't try to travel north-roads in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador in bad condition; and Storm cuts electricity to three countries of isthmus.
The last headline refers to a hail storm in Honduras on Sept. 8 that caused electricity outages in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. A lightning strike at the Suyapa substation left 90% of Honduras in the dark and most of Nicaragua as well, causing a loss of potable water from 153 wells with electric pumps in Managua. Lake Xolotlan (Lake Managua) continues to rise sending 58 cubic meters of water per second through the Tipitapa River to its sister Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua), putting in danger all those who live near the banks of the river and the lakes.
Meanwhile, Jorge Ramon Arnesto Soza (a retired Army colonel), Executive President of the National System for the Prevention, Mitigation and Attention to Disasters (SINAPRED), was removed on Sept. 9 after holding the position for three years. There was speculation that the change at the top had something to do with what the newspaper La Prensa called "the eternal differences" between SINAPRED and the Army's Civil Defense division. Also last week President Daniel Ortega announced he is sending to the National Assembly a bill that would change the country's natural disaster plan, giving more authority to the Army and the National Police. (El Nuevo Diario, Sept. 7, 11; La Prensa, Sept. 9; Radio La Primerisima, Sept. 13)"