Less than two weeks after being battered by Tropical Storm Eta, Honduras was hit by Hurricane Iota, a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. With a slightly different trajectory than Eta, Hurricane Iota caused flooding and landslides in the northern part of the country, exacerbating an already difficult situation.
The two storms have caused severe damage only comparable to Hurricane Mitch in 1998, resulting in humanitarian needs for millions of people in Honduras.
Most-affected areas and populations
The departments of Santa Bárbara, Copán and Ocotepeque were particularly affected by Hurricane Iota. Many other departments sustained smaller-scale damage, which amounts to a considerable total, although less concentrated geographically.
Most vulnerable groups
The most vulnerable groups include women, girls and adolescents, indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples, people with disabilities, LGBTIQ+ people, and subsistence, small- and medium-scale farmers.
Most urgent humanitarian needs
The greatest needs are in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, shelter, protection, food security and protection, including gender-based violence and child protection.
Other issues include the contamination of wells in rural areas, accompanied by the collapse of latrines, and a large number of houses still flooded or destroyed. In the shelter sector, needs are high in the areas affected by Iota, where many shelters are not suitable.
In the health sector, infrastructures have been damaged, with loss of equipment and medicines, while the medical staff are under much pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the food security sector, there are significant gaps related to the loss of livelihoods, crops and temporary jobs, as well as limitations to access to food. In the protection sector, the main concerns relate to the physical and mental impact of sexual and/or gender-based violence on the most vulnerable groups.