Hurricane Felix blasted Nicaragua at dawn on Tuesday morning September 4, hitting shore between Sandy Bay and Puerto Cabezas, as a category 5 storm with 160 mph winds. Early reports spoke of roofs blowing off and houses destroyed in Puerto Cabezas as well as many unanswered distress calls. Approximately 10,000 residents of Bilwi were evacuated as well as the local hospital. A preliminary report from the Ministry of Education reports that 80% of schools in the north have lost roofs.
After touching down, Felix weakened to a category 2 storm, with winds dropping to 100mph. The drop in intensity is expected to cause the hurricane to release moisture, which will likely lead to torrential rains, flooding and potential mudslides. The storm is moving rapidly and is predicted to move across northern Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The intensity of the storm is a vivid reminder of the damage wreaked by Hurricane Mitch nine years ago.
We at Quest for Peace have gone into active mode, anticipating urgent needs for emergency food and supplies, including seeds in order to replant washed out crops. Two containers carrying humanitarian aid are already on their way.
Our partners at the Institute Juan XXIII are on the ground in Nicaragua, ready to respond as soon as the storm has cleared sufficiently to assess damages and needs. We are gearing up a campaign here to provide the funding that will make comprehensive responses to this emergency possible.
Please consider a generous donation to support our hurricane response program. We will collect funds to help provide emergency food for the most affected areas and to replant crops as quickly as possible so that there will be a second harvest. We will update you on the situation and respond as other needs are identified.
It will take a few days for an accurate analysis of the damage to emerge. We are prepared to expand our campaign if the extent of the damage is widespread.