Hurricanes Iota and Eta

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Women try to recover belongings after the passage of Hurricane Eta at the Omonita neighborhood in El Progreso, Yoro department, Honduras, On November 15 2020, before the arrival of Hurricane Iota.
Women try to recover belongings after the passage of Hurricane Eta at the Omonita neighborhood in El Progreso, Yoro department, Honduras, On November 15 2020, before the arrival of Hurricane Iota.
Photo by Orlando Sierra / AFP

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is deploying a Disaster-Assistance Response Team (DART) to respond to back-to-back hurricanes in Central America and Colombia, that has affected millions of people and caused severe flooding, landslides, and damage. The United States, through USAID, was already providing assistance after Hurricane Eta made landfall. Following the landfall of Hurricane Iota as a powerful Category 4 storm in the same region, USAID is now allocating an additional $17 million in life-saving aid to help people affected by both hurricanes in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua. This new funding includes up to $8.5 million in Honduras, $7 million in Guatemala, and $1.5 million in Nicaragua to provide emergency shelter, food, hygiene supplies, critical relief items, and protection for the most vulnerable people, many of whom are from indigenous and Afro-descendant communities. In Colombia, we are providing relief supplies to affected families and equipment for firefighters to clear fallen debris.


Last updated: November 30, 2020

November 30, 2020

FEWS NET estimates damage from the storms will exacerbate acute food insecurity for many households in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Government of Nicaragua assesses countrywide damages and economic losses from Eta and Iota total $738 million. USAID/BHA provides funding to support several relief agencies delivering humanitarian assistance in Honduras, while JTF-Bravo rescues people from and transports assistance to isolated areas.

November 25, 2020

Relief organizations continue to assess the extent of damages from Hurricanes Eta and Iota on Colombia’s San Andrés and Providencia islands, where approximately 9,100 people were affected by the storms, according to the UN. To support Colombia’s National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD) and other actors responding to humanitarian needs on the islands, on November 23, USAID/BHA established a humanitarian air bridge to shuttle relief supplies from San Andrés to Providencia—the more heavily impacted of the two islands.

USAID Colombia Director delivers supplies in San Andrés.
November 23, 2020

The United States Ambassador to Colombia, Philip S. Goldberg, today announced that the U.S. will provide US $100,000 to respond to the request for humanitarian assistance made by the Government of Colombia.  These funds will support the efforts of the national government to respond to the devastation caused by Hurricane Iota in the San Andres and Providencia archipelago. 

November 23, 2020

Hurricanes Eta and Iota caused widespread damage and destruction in Colombia’s Providencia and San Andrés islands, including to houses and health facilities, as well as electricity, telecommunications, and water supply infrastructure. More than 2,800 people in San Andrés and approximately 6,300 people in Providencia—the entire population of the island—were estimated to have been affected by the storms, the UN reports. Emergency food assistance, health services, hygiene kits, shelter, and potable water were among the most urgent needs identified as of November 19, according to the UN.

November 23, 2020

On November 16, Hurricane Iota made landfall as a category 5 storm with sustained winds of nearly 155 mph. This comes just two weeks after Hurricane Eta brought heavy rains, severe flooding, and landslides to many of the same areas. An estimated 4.9 million people were affected by Hurricane Eta alone and more than 260,000 people across Latin America have sought the safety of evacuation shelters. Read how USAID is helping communities affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota: