Heavy storms continue to ravage coffeelands across Central America. Last week, we reported on the initial damages in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala brought by Hurricane Eta, where heavy rains lead to flooding and landslides, killing over 200 individuals. And just two weeks later, while the damages of Eta are still being assessed, a new storm, Hurricane Iota, is bringing more devastation to Central America.
Forming in the Caribbean Sea before moving westward, Hurricane Iota peaked at a Category 5 before making landfall as a Category 4 on the eastern coast of Nicaragua yesterday, November 16th. Per CNN, the storm is expected to stay in Nicaragua for much of Tuesday morning before hitting Honduras later tonight as well as El Salvador and Guatemala the following day. Experts these countries will experience at least 10 inches of rain, and in some cases upwards of 30 inches through Thursday. The full extent of the damages caused by Eta and Iota remain unknown.
And while not directly in the path of Hurricane Iota, Colombia was the first country to feel impact. In a Twitter post, coffee importer Mercanta shared photos of flooding in the Urrao region of Antioquia where one of their producer partners, Finca La Falda, is located.
This latest round of devastating storms comes as many countries are only beginning to assess the damages done by Hurricane Eta. Home to many experimental farms used in winning World Barista Championship routines and continually breaking auction records, Panama has reported loss of Gesha trees on multiple farms. Finca Sophia, who recently pulled in a staggering $1,300/lb auction price, stated they lost Gesha and shade trees due to the storm; luckily there was no loss of life. Both Ninety Plus Estates and Finca Deborah required food and supplies to be helicoptered in due to flooding and mudslides blocking entry points to their remote areas of Panama.
To aid in the efforts, Finca Deborah has created a GoFundMe page to provide further assistance to fellow residence of Los Pozos. To help not only those working on coffee farms but cattle farmers, milk producers, and vegetable growers in the mountainous area, Finca Deborah is looking to raise $100,000 to rebuild infrastructure and property lost to the storm. Per the GoFundMe, “100% of the funds raised for Rebuild Los Pozos will go directly towards” this end. To learn more or donate, visit their GoFundMe page.
This story is developing…