18Nov20-Central America & Caribbean-Original

Dear prayer partners,

On Sunday 15 November, Hurricane Iota (the season’s 13th Hurricane) strengthened to a Category 2 storm with winds reaching 160km/h. According to the National Hurricane Centre, it is expected to reach a Category 4 by the time it is forecasted to make landfall in north-eastern Central America.

Hurricane Eta has wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and Central America, with torrential rain and high winds. It first hit Nicaragua (on 4 November) as a Category four hurricane with winds of 225km/h and torrential rains. It then became a vast tropical rainstorm which flooded homes and displaced people across Panama, Honduras and Guatemala – leaving at least 150 people dead or missing in Guatemala alone. Hurricane Eta then shifted back into the Caribbean and regathered strength hitting Cuba with sustained winds of 100km/h. On Sunday 8 November, Hurricane Eta hit Florida, flooding roads and knocking out power in some areas with heavy rain and strong winds.

Hurricane Eta caused a huge landslide in the village of Queja (Guatemala), killing dozens of people. On Friday 6 November, President Alejandro Giammattei indicated that up to 150 people could have been buried in the Queja landslide. Many areas were still underwater.

In Honduras, public shelters were opened in all communities affected by the floods, however, doctors at public hospitals warned that cases of Covid-19 could increase drastically unless strict sanitary measures were imposed. Honduras has had over 100,000 coronavirus cases and more than 2,700 deaths.

The current Atlantic Hurricane season (1 June – 30 November) has been devastating and has broken numerous records. There have been 31 tropical storms (as of 16 November), including 13 hurricanes (5 major – Category 3 and up). This is only the second time that the official alphabetical naming list had to move to supplementary Greek letters – it is the first time Eta, Theta and Iota have been used. This year surpassed 2005 for the record number of storms.

Please join with us in praying for Central America and the Caribbean.

“Intercessory prayer might be defined as loving our neighbour on our knees.” (Charles Bent)