At least 38 people have died and more than 200 are missing after Hurricane Felix swept over Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. President Daniel Ortega said 9000 homes in the area were destroyed. Emergency operations are underway to try and clear uprooted trees and abandoned vehicles.
50000 Nicaraguans have been injured, left homeless or had their property damaged. A disaster has been declared and emergency supplies are being airlifted in.
Felix hit the coast with winds of up to 260 km/h but quickly dissipated over Western Honduras. No deaths have been reported there – instead, flooding and landslides are the problems, with as much as 64 centimetres of rain predicted in some areas. Felix came hot on the heels of another storm, the first time on record that two category 5 Atlantic hurricanes made landfall in the same season. Hurricane Dean killed 27 people in the Caribbean and Mexico last month.