Punishing hurricanes to spur more Central American migration
November 26, 2020 - The destruction wrought by hurricanes Eta and Iota is raising fears of a new wave of mass migration from Central America, with the region already facing an economic crisis linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
Eta made landfall on November 3 in Nicaragua, leaving a path of death and destruction from Panama to Mexico. Two weeks later, Iota hit the same stretch of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, pouring more rain on still flooded countries. At least 150 people were killed and more than 100 remain missing.
The same day Eta landed, U.S. voters elected Joe Biden amid a pandemic that has devastated the continent for more than eight months. The Democrat has promised a more compassionate approach to immigration even as desperate families weigh their options inside mud-filled Central American homes.
Among the hardest-hit areas was Honduras’ north, the country’s most productive agricultural region. The Sula Valley reported massive crop losses raising fears of food shortages.
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