At least 21 dead, hundreds missing in Hurricane Felix
Hurricane Felix killed at least 21 people, seriously injured 14 and left hundreds missing as it pounded Nicaragua and Central America, authorities said.world Updated: Sep 06, 2007 12:11 IST
Hurricane Felix killed at least 21 people, seriously injured 14 and left hundreds missing as it pounded Nicaragua and Central America, authorities said.
"We are told there are hundreds of people missing. We are looking for them," Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said Wednesday as he visited the ravaged city of Puerto Cabezas and other towns.
Some 8,400 houses were damaged almost 7,900 of them totally destroyed and at least 40,000 people lost their property, the Central American country's Civil Defence said Wednesday.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre continued to warn Wednesday that rains related to the debilitating storm "will likely produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides."
The US embassy in Nicaragua said in a statement that the agency USAID had freed $25,000 in aid and planned to deliver an additional $150,000 to help victims of Felix. The Spanish government also committed 150,000 euros ($204,000).
The regional leader of German aid organization Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, Michael Jordan, made a call for help on behalf of the victims of the hurricane.
"Right now foodstuffs, medicine and accommodation are particularly needed," he said.
The organization committed 30,000 euros ($41,000) of immediate aid and called for more donations.
The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) said it delivered close to 100 tonnes of food to the affected North Atlantic region on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast.
Felix has since been downgraded to a tropical depression as it reached Honduras. But heavy rains continued and close to 28,000 had to be evacuated from their homes in risk areas. There were no immediate reports of casualties or more significant damage.
In Nicaragua, a large part of the banana and oil palm crops were lost. There were power cuts in coastal areas, and many roads remained blocked by fallen trees. The city of Puerto Cabezas, some 580 km north of the capital Managua, was particularly affected by Felix.
On Mexico's Pacific coast, hurricane Henriette was meanwhile wreaking havoc in the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. Roads were flooded, trees uprooted and roofs torn off, but there were no details of casualties. The hurricane made landfall on mainland Mexico as a category one hurricane with sustained wind speeds of 120 km an hour and higher gusts.
Henriette earlier claimed six lives as it struck the Mexican Pacific resort of Acapulco and one in the state of Chiapas, when it was a tropical storm.