Collateral impact of Eta leaves at least five dead and destruction of infrastructure in Panama

Photo: Courtesy MINGOB.
Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

The floods and overflowing of rivers due to the rains that hit Panama in recent days left at least five people dead., hundreds of victims, and damage to public infrastructure with the greatest impact in the province of Chiriquí, border with Costa Rica.

The Highlands region, characterized by mountain areas famous among tourists for their mild climate and its special coffee was the most affected where rains and floods destroyed crops, they razed homes, and destroyed roads leaving thousands incommunicado.

The director of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), Carlos Rumbo said that hundreds of people who reside in the most vulnerable areas near rivers and hills were transferred to temporary shelters to receive assistance, while looking for several missing.

The Joint Task Force, which includes relief corps, and thousands of Panamanian police officers, located the bodies of five people, of seven who were reported missing, including three minors who were victims of the floods.

Photo: Courtesy MINGOB.

Rumbo explained that the victims belong to two families, one that was washed away by a river current, and a second surprised by a landslide while they were in their home.

Experts said that the climatic situation was produced by the combination of the indirect effects of the storm Eta, that has caused destruction in the rest of Central America, and the climatic conditions of the rainy season, which also caused damage in the provinces of Bocas del Toro, and Veraguas, all west of Panama.

Eta came to the region last 3 November with heavy rains and strong winds in northeastern Nicaragua and northern Honduras as a category hurricane 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, before turning into a tropical storm.

Photo: Courtesy MINGOB.

Eta's passage through Central America left dozens of people dead, most in Guatemala, destroyed infrastructure, and caused flooding in vulnerable and impoverished areas of the region.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the United States said that although the storm has decreased in intensity, it is projected that after crossing Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador head back to the Caribbean on 7 of November.

Photo: Courtesy MINGOB.

Eta is the 28th storm of the Atlantic hurricane season of 2020, becoming next to that of 2005 as the most active ever recorded, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Photo: Courtesy MINGOB.