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Latin America & The Caribbean Weekly Situation Update (16-22 May 2022) as of 23 May 2022

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REGIONAL: STORMS & FLOODING

CENTRAL AMERICA

Civil Protections and humanitarian networks in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are monitoring a recently-formed Central American gyre (CAG), a broad low-pressure system that will bring flooding rain to Central America in coming days, weeks ahead of the official start of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. Some areas may see more than 6 inches of rain, especially over windward mountainous terrain.

Heavy rains over Honduras prompted authorities to place the Choluteca, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán and Valle departments under yellow alert, allowing for preventive evacuations in areas at risk of landslides, flooding and river overflows. Municipal officials in the capital of Tegucigalpa report damage in riverside communities, which they are currently responding to with their own capacities.

Forecasters do not expect the current CAG to spawn an out-of-season tropical depression as it did in 2020 when it pushed Pacific’s Tropical Storm Amanda inland over El Salvador and Guatemala, only for Amanda’s remnants over the Bay of Campeche to form into the Atlantic’s Tropical Storm Cristobal after causing more rain than 1998’s Hurricane Mitch, the second-deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record.

SOUTH AMERICA

Uruguayan and Brazilian coasts took on strong winds and high waves from Yakecan, a sub-tropical cyclone that made landfall on 16 May and caused power outages and building damage. In Uruguay, the storm flooded roads, uprooted trees with winds of up to 100 km/h and damaged roofing. While Uruguay’s SINAE national emergency system set up evacuation centres to receive families, the overall damage has been minimal, with SINAE reporting a peak of about 22,000 homes left without power that has since been restored.

Yakecan later moved north to Brazil, leaving 182,000 homes without power in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. The National Institute of Meteorology (INMET) reported on 18 May, winds up to 96 km/h in São José dos Ausentes municipality in Rio Grande do Sul, with authorities issuing alerts for coastal areas over strong winds in northern Rio Grande do Sul to Rio de Janeiro State.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.