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Mitch: A Path of Destruction

Special Report by Declan McLaughlin

Millions are affected as the worst hurricane of the dropped historic amounts of rainfall in Honduras, take these countries as long as 20-30years to fully
season causes havoc in southern Florida. With winds Guatemala, and Nicaragua, with unofficial reports of recover from this disaster with an estimated $6billion
of up to 180mph, the tropical storm has caused up to up to 75 in. Deaths due to catastrophic flooding worth of damage leaving Honduras and Nicaragua
$6billion worth of destruction, destroying homes and made it the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane in with a spiralling debt problem. Honduras is one of the
leading to widespread flooding. Well over 10,000 are history; nearly 11,000 people were killed with over world's poorest nations. It is one of the most deeply
believed to have been killed, in debt. It repays loans to the IMF,
with Nicaragua and Honduras World Bank and others at the rate
bearing the brunt of the storm. Hurricane Mitch caused over $6billion worth of damage, most of £1m ($1.7m) a day. Mitch
Development in some of the prominently in Honduras. formed in the western Caribbean
western hemisphere's poorest Sea on October 22, and after
countries has been set back by drifting through extremely
as much as 50 years. Hundreds favorable conditions, it rapidly
of people are still missing. strengthened to peak at Category 5
Mudslides claimed the lives of status, the highest possible rating
nearly 2,000 people and left on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane
hundreds of thousands Scale. After drifting southwestward
homeless. And as Mitch and weakening, the hurricane hit
continued to wreak havoc, the Honduras as a minimal hurricane. It
Casita volcano erupted and a drifted through Central America,
minor earthquake hit the city of reformed in the Bay of Campeche,
Chinandega. Despite abating in and ultimately struck Florida as a
the days before, Mitch regained strong tropical storm. Due to the
strength over the Gulf of Mexico threat, the government of
on 3 November, hitting southern Honduras evacuated some of the
Florida and gradually heading 45,000 citizens on the Bay Islands
towards the western coast on 5 and prepared all air and naval
November. Tornadoes and winds resources. The government of
of up to 55mph (88kph) knocked Belize issued a red alert and asked
down trees and power lines in for citizens on offshore islands to
the Florida Keys region. Much of leave for the mainland. Because
southern Florida was put under a the hurricane threatened to strike
11,000 left missing. According to the British
tropical storm warning and shelters were opened in near Belize City as a Category 4 hurricane, much of
Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the hurricane has
the Key West and Key Largo. Due to its slow motion the city was evacuated in fear of a repeat of
left 14,000 dead in Honduras alone with over 70% of
from October 29 to November 3, Hurricane Mitch Hurricane Hattie 37 years earlier. Guatemala issued a
crops destroyed. Many experts believe that it will
red alert as well, recommending boats to stay in port, along the western Caribbean coastline, including damage and loss of life, the Hurricane killed over
telling people to prepare or seek shelter, and warning 100,000 in Honduras, 10,000 in Guatemala, and 19,000 people in each of these countries making it by
of potential over flown rivers. By the time Mitch 20,000 in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Despite far the worst hurricane of the 1998 season.
made landfall, numerous people were evacuated the governments’ attempts to decrease the level of