For several weeks from mid-October, Honduras and Guatemala were drenched by heavy rains caused by a slow-moving tropical depression. Areas of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize also experienced flooding and landslides. A November update from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 320,000 people had been affected in Honduras and 150,000 in Guatemala. At least 60 people were killed and tens of thousands made homeless.
Aid workers said the disaster in Honduras was the worst since the devastation wrought by Hurricane Mitch a decade ago. They fear the flooding – which washed away crops as well as houses – will push malnutrition higher in a region already struggling with food price inflation. OCHA has warned that the most vulnerable communities have lost their livelihoods and income, and their living conditions will remain precarious for several months to come.