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Hurricane Mitch case study
Hurricane Mitch was one of the worst hurricanes to hit central and northern America, with
maximum speeds reaching on average 180MPH which rates it as a category 5 hurricane which
ripped and devastated many homes and lives in America and Central America, forming in the
Caribbean Sea at 22nd October. This hurricane dropped on average 75mm of rainfall on
Honduras and Nicaragua. Deaths due to catastrophic flooding made it the second deadliest
Atlantic hurricane in history nearly 11,000 people were killed with over 8,000 left missing by
the end of 1998. The flooding caused extreme damage, estimated at about $6 billion.
45,000 evacuated from the Bay Islands. By the time Mitch made landfall, numerous people
were evacuated along the western Caribbean coastline, including 100,000 in Honduras, 10,000
in Guatemala, and 20,000 in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
Guatemala issued a red alert as well, recommending boats to stay in port, telling people to
prepare or seek shelter, and warning of potential over flown rivers.
These impacts range for the whole of the Caribbean and have killed many more people but I
will look at the two key countries where the hurricane hit the worst.
o Direct deaths from the hurricane to this area totalled on average 7,000 deaths.
o With damages to the communication and transport network totalling $529 million
o Destroying 33,000 houses and damaging a further 50,000
o Mexico quickly gave help, sending 700 tons of food, 11 tons of medicine, four rescue
planes, rescue personnel, and trained search dogs.
o Cuba also volunteered, sending a contingent of physicians to the country.
o 400 million without water.
o U.S sent $700 millio
o An estimated $3.8 billion loss to the country
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Crop damage alone was estimated anywhere from $900 million to $1.7 billion.
o Total animal losses amounted to $300 million.
o Damages to transport and communication totalling $529 million
o The impact on the environment of this disaster is evident in that it took huge chunks of
the countries profits by destroying key crops, for example 58% of the corn output,
24% of sorghum, 14% of rice, and 6% of the bean crop.…read more