Hurricane Rina Heading Towards Mexico As Many Parts of Central America Suffer From Severe Flooding (NEWS BRIEF)
(HN, October 25, 2011) Hurricane Rina, which spent days nagging the coastline of Honduras as a disorganized depression, has now coalesced into a Category 2 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, could barrel into Belize and Mexico's Yucatan peninsula by the end of the week, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
The storm was packing sustained winds of 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour and was tracking to the northwest at six miles per hour.
"Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours," and Rina could unleash up to five inches (12.5 centimeters) of rain in some areas, the Miami-based NHC said in a bulletin.
Rina's center was about 135 miles northeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios, on the Nicaragua-Honduras border, and was predicted to pass north of the Honduran coast.
Several nations in Central America have only just begun to dig out from recent torrential rains which triggered deadly flooding and landslides, swamped huge swathes of farmland and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
The number of fatalities across the region topped 100, including 36 deaths in Guatemala, 34 in El Salvador and 18 in Honduras, from non-stop downpours that have affected hundreds of thousands of people, destroyed crops, livelihoods and infrastructure.
Throughout the region, some 1.2 million people have been affected, said the UN.
According to the Salvadoran Ministry of Natural Resources, almost 60 inches (150 centimetres) of rain have fallen in the past 10 days. The cumulative record for Hurricane Mitch, which in 1998 killed 11,000 people in the region, was 34 inches (86 centimetres).
The region has endured a multitude of natural disasters, in the past 4 decades, that have killed some 50,000 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
- HUMNews Staff