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IRI Climate Information Digest - Impacts October 1998
  • CLIMATE AND HEALTH  - Despite the severe and widespread damage associated with hurricane Mitch the Pan-American Health organization has issued the following  statement.  "Although the risk of dengue, malaria, cholera and other diseases has increased in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, PAHO/WHO indicates that, contrary to rumors, no epidemics are resulting from the Hurricane."
  • HAZARDS/THREATS - Hurricane Mitch formed in the Caribbean Basin on 24 October 1998 and continued to effect the area through early November.  Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala suffered the most severe consequences of the hurricane but all of Central America from Costa Rica northward was adversely influenced.  The Honduran National Emergency Commission (CONEH) reported that 6,546 persons were killed, 6,586 are missing and approximately 1.1 million were displaced.  In Nicaragua the extremely heavy rains caused extensive flooding and landslides. The Nicaraguan National Defense System estimated that 2,042 people have died and 1,094 are missing.  Officials in Guatemala report a total of 258 deaths and 120 people missing while the National Emergency Committee (NEC) of El Salvador reported 239 people dead and 135 missing as a result of flash floods.
  • AGRICULTURE - Flooding associated with Hurricane Mitch caused crop damage in Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize and extreme southeastern Mexico.  In the Philippines, flooding associated with typhoon activity damaged copra, sugarcane and rice.
  • FISHERIES - Reports from mid-month suggests that South American fisheries are beginning to show signs of some recovery following the adverse effects of the 1997/1998 El Niño. Except for Chile, week-to-week improvements were noted with substantially greater volumes than during the same weeks last year; 58% larger in some instances. However, weekly catches remain below the five year averages in most locations.
Material for this portion of the IRI Climate Information Digest has been extracted from the IRI Climate Data Library, the NOAA NCEP Climate Prediction Center, the USDA/NOAA Joint Agricultural Weather Facility and the Fishmeal Exporters Organization. Additional information was obtained from the CHGE, and the UN/OCHA.