Quiz, Guatemala – He was burying his neighbors until they heard the sound of the earth slipping from the mountain. So the people of Kuja – the lucky ones – ran out of their homes with nothing, as tall as their children through barefoot mud until they reached dry land.
All that is left in this village of Guatemala is his memories.
“This is where I live,” said Joerg Suk Ikal, standing atop the rocks and debris of the sea that entered his city. “It’s a cemetery now.”
Already crippled by the coronovirus epidemic and the resulting economic crisis, Central America now faces another catastrophe: mass destruction Two ferocious storms He got hit In quick succession Last month, pummeling the same fragile countries twice.
Storm, two of the most powerful A record breaking season, Demolished thousands of homes, wiped out infrastructure and swallowed the vast swaths of Cropland.
Vastness of ruins Only understood, but its consequences are likely to spread far from the region for years to come. More affected by the storm Five million people – At least 1.5 million of them children – with more reason than ever to form a new class of migrants.
Officials conducting rescue operations say the level of damage is in keeping with Hurricane Mitch, which made a large-scale migration from Central America to the United States more than two decades ago.
“The devastation is beyond comparison,” Adam Craig S., head of the American Southern Command. Said Faller, who is helping aid survivors of the storm. “When you think of Kovid, these two massive double punch, major hurricanes back-to-back – are just a few projections of up to a decade to recover.”
The relentless rains and winds of Hurricanes Etah and Iota caused dozens of bridges to fall and damaged more than 1,400 roads in the region, submerging a Honduran airport and taking out entire cities in both countries. From the sky, the northern highlands of Guatemala are visible, as they are separated with huge gaps marking landslide sites.
If the catastrophe set a new wave of immigration, it would test the incoming Biden administration that promised to be more open to asylum seekers, but it could be politically difficult to welcome the surge of contenders on the border is.
In Guatemala and Honduras, Officials readily admit that they cannot begin to address the suffering created by the storms.
The leaders of the two countries asked the United Nations last month to declare Central America as the region most affected by climate change, making the sea water warmer and many storms stronger, and the storm rains worsened. Lets do it.
Guatemala President Alejandro Giamatetti said, “Poverty, poverty and destruction have not been there for years to wait for.” “If we don’t want to see crowds of Central Americans moving to countries with better quality of life, then we have to build walls of prosperity in Central America.”
Mr. Giamatei also requested that the United States currently provide so-called temporary protection status to Guatemalan in the country, so they would not be deported amid natural disaster.
With the gathering of hundreds of thousands of people in shelters in Guatemala, the risk of spreading coronavirus is high. Support workers have found widespread disease in remote communities, including fungal infections, gastritis, and bloated diseases.
“Facing an imminent health crisis,” said Sophia Latona, director of Antiga, a support group, “not only because of Eta and Iota, but also because these communities are completely vulnerable to the second wave of Kovid.”
The way incessant rains suppress diseases due to lack of food, potable water and shelter.
“I see that the youngest children are most affected by nutritional disorders,” said retired General Francisco Muss, who led Guatemala’s recovery.
With little government support, Guatemalan had to come up with creative solutions. Near the border with Mexico, people Crowd in handmade rafts To cross vast lakes created by storms. To cross a river to the east, passengers were connected in a wire basket with a zip line, where there used to be a bridge.
Francisco Garcia swims back and forth in a mud filled waterway to take food for his neighbors.
“I did this during Mitch,” he said, pointing to the crowd of young boys who have gathered to see him go on his fourth trip of the day. “They need to learn.”
No one knows how many people died in Mudslide in Quezah, although local authorities imposed a toll on around 100. The Guatemalan government called off the search for the dead in early November.
Just a few weeks ago, the city was celebrating: the months-long Coronavirus curfew was lifted and the championship tournaments of the local Football League could begin. The first round was held in Queza, an area known for its ancient, natural-grass football field. Hundreds streamed to watch their favorite teams, while now in the United States, local fans followed the game live on Facebook.
“People went there because of the field,” said Alvaro Pop Gew, who plays midfield for one of Quezha’s teams. “it was beautiful.”
Now their season is on, their beloved fields are submerged in water.
Reyna Kall Sis, principal of the town’s primary school, believes that 19 of her students died that day, including two kindergartners and a 14-year-old Martin, who loved helping her clean up after class.
“He had started growing hair on his upper lip,” she said. “He lived with his mother and his siblings, right next to where the land used to come down.”
Burden-covered lines are almost as tall as electrical wires today. The only road in the village is so thick and wet in mud that its residents leave holes in it. Still, they walk it, carrying what they can get out of the rubble of their house, carrying their tired wardrobes and bags of coffee beans on their backs.
People started moving from here to the United States a few years ago, but Ms. Cal Sis would certainly follow more. “They are determined, now that they have lost almost everything,” she said.
Mr. Sook, 35, was having lunch with his family when the sound shook his house. “It was like two bombings,” he said. He runs off to find a cloak of mud crushing everything in view, careening the roof and walls through the city.
Mr. Suk said, “There are houses in front, and they are coming suddenly.” “A lot of people were stranded there.”
One of them was his niece, Adriana Kaille Suk, a 13-year-old who had a knack for customer service by selling soda and snacks at her mother’s store. Mr. Suk never saw her again.
After the disaster, Mr. Suk walked for four hours on foot to Santa Elena, the nearest dry village, dragged along with his grandfather and distributed his two children to strong, tall family members who hoisted him over waist-deep water during the journey. . But as he and the other survivors spent weeks in the temporary shelters there, the city’s hospitality escaped.
On Saturday, a group of Santa Elena residents looted a stock of provisions in the city that had been donated to the residents of Queza. Mr. Sookie is now looking to go elsewhere. He has no idea how he can make it in the United States, but he is willing to try.
“Yes, we are thinking about migration,” he said, looking at the dwindling bag of corn he has left to feed his family. “Because, our children have to give bread?” We have nothing. “