What Happened in Latin America Last May?
Posted by feww on January 15, 2016
“Unusual phenomenon” produces destructive waves, storm surge
An unusual phenomenon between 2 and 4 May 2015 produced two-meter-high waves on the Pacific Ocean side of Latin America, killing a number of people, forcing scores of people to flee their homes and destroying or damaging buildings, roads and infrastructure.
The El Salvadoran coast was among the hardest hit, with damage across the entire coastal line in the departments of Ahuachapán, Sonsonate, La Libertad, La Paz, San Vicente, Usulután and La Union. More than 1,300 people were evacuated: 514 were in shelters and 1,270 were providing their own shelter. Another segment of the population had migrated to areas where they had access to family shelters and to the Chapina Garita area. (IFRC, 16 May 2015).
Strong winds generated high waves and swells in coastal areas of several countries in the region, affecting the populations and infrastructure.
Several people were killed or reported as missing in coastal areas of Chile, Panama and El Salvador. hundreds of others were forced to evacuate house and hotels on the Pacific coast.
In Guatemala, about 500 people were evacuated due to the damage caused by the storm surge that traveled more than one kilometer inland.
The phenomenon also affected other countries including Mexico, Peru, Ecuador and Honduras, among others, causing damage to houses, hotels and roads. (OCHA, 4 May 2015).