As New Storm Threatens Central America, UN Disaster System Goes on Alert
New York, Oct 27 2005 3:00PM
With tropical storm Beta forecast to strengthen into a hurricane and drench Central America with potentially-flooding
rains, the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) system was today put on alert, ready to
pre-position a team in Nicaragua should it become necessary.
According to forecasts, the two most affected countries could be Nicaragua and Honduras, with Beta threatening their
eastern-coastal areas, the poorest regions in the two countries, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA) said.
OCHA's regional office in Panama is monitoring the situation and has contacted the UN Resident Coordinators in
Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Both Guatemala and El Salvador were severely hit by flooding from Hurricane Stan earlier this month, displacing tens of
thousands of people who are now in need of urgent food aid.
Tropical storm Beta follows last week's tropical depression Alpha, which produced heavy rains and flooding in Haiti and
the Dominican Republic. In Haiti, Alpha caused 13 deaths and localized flooding in the departments of West, South-West
and Grande Anse. Although flood waters have begun to recede, some areas remain inaccessible.