AMERICA/NICARAGUA - Hurricane Iota devastates the area of Peñas Blancas causing deaths, missing persons and destruction

Friday, 20 November 2020 natural catastrophe   local churches  


Matagalpa (Agenzia Fides) - "We feel deep pain for what happened on the Macizo de Peñas Blancas, between La Dalia and Rancho Grande. At the moment, our priests are mobilizing in the area and we are making ourselves available to all those who are affected. I will keep you informed". It is in these terms that His Exc. Mgr Rolando José Alvarez, Bishop of Matagalpa (Nicaragua), told Fides of the passage of Hurricane Iota which caused the death of 18 people as well as very serious damage according to official data.
In the Peñas Blancas area, witnesses report a terrifying scene: an avalanche created by the hurricane created a kilometer-long, 200-meter-wide river of mud and stones, which carried away everything in its path.
Although the governor of the department of Matagalpa, Pedro Haslam, reported six deaths on November 17, he later announced that due to a landslide of vast proportions caused in the last hours in an area of the municipality of Tuma La Dalia, there are other people who have died on the macizo de Peñas Blancas.
The provisional toll of the landslide, said Haslam in an interviste with 'Canal Cuatro' TV, was of 15 people considered missing. Rescuers subsequently recovered four bodies (a mother with three children) and found four people alive, while the search for the other seven missing continues.
According to the official government report, Hurricane Iota caused at least six deaths and severe material damage in Nicaragua. This is what by Nicaraguan vice president, Rosa Murillo said. In a statement made to the media, Murillo recalled that the hurricane that hit Nicaragua is classified as category 5, the strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with winds reaching 260 km/h. Unfortunately, among those who died, there are also children. Until yesterday, rescuers were trying to locate other missing persons. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 20/11/2020)