At least 30 people are dead, with many more missing and large swaths of Central America still under water, as the devastation wrought by Hurricane Iota became more apparent Wednesday.
Tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate. The storm made landfall just 15 miles from where Hurricane Eta struck just two weeks before and likely killed hundreds across the region, and Bilwi, also known as Puerto Cabezas, was almost completely cut off from all communication due to blackouts and fallen electrical cables.
“The kids were screaming with fear. It was horrible,” Fatima Thomas Pérez told La Prensa. “The ground shook just like an earthquake. We thought we were all going to die.” The remnants of Hurricane Iota are expected to continue to dump at least 10 inches of rain across large portions of Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Belize through Thursday, with some areas expected to get up to 30 inches.
“We are facing an incredible emergency,” Mirna Wood, vice president of the Miskito ethnic group in Honduras’ far eastern Gracias a Dios region, told the AP. “There is no food. There is no water.”