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Hurricane Eta – the 29th named storm of 2020 – churned its way toward Central America and made landfall in Nicaragua this week, bringing with it 145 mph maximum sustained winds along with the potential for up to 3 feet of rainfall.
Here’s what we know so far, and how you can help.
A slow moving, destructive hurricane
In the evening of October 31, a tropical depression formed in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The storm intensified quickly — first to a tropical storm, then a hurricane, reaching category 4 status by the time it made landfall in Nicaragua.
As of this writing, the storm weakened to a tropical depression and is expected to move into Honduras after passing through Nicaragua. Due to the rapid onset of the storm, local government and communities had little time to prepare for it. We expect the needs of families will be great, including families working with our local cocoa project, where we anticipate widespread crop damage.
"Projected damages to cacao plantations and losses to this year's harvest are mounting," says Ralph Merriam, our regional representative for the Northern Triangle. "It looks like … a big task of helping cocoa farmers in Honduras recover from Eta."