A 12-year old girl stands near a home devastated by Hurricanes in Nicaragua.

Damange from Hurricane Eta has left many children and families in Nicaragua without shelter and vulernable to Hurricane Iota.

Hurricane Iota: Facts, FAQs and How to Help

Last updated July 13, 2021

Hurricane Iota made landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm on Monday, November 16, 2020, along almost exactly the same stretch of coast recently devastated by Hurricane Eta

With wind speeds up to about 155 miles per hour, the storm battered communities that were already cut off by washed-out bridges, downed trees and flooded roads from Hurricane Eta. 

Thousands of children and families were evacuated into crowded shelters, vulnerable not only to the storm's life-threatening winds and storm surges but the coronavirus pandemic's danger as well. 

Here's what you need to know about the devastating storm and how to support children and families in need of help.


How strong was Hurricane Iota?
How many people have be impacted by Hurricane Iota?
How is Save the Children responding to Hurricane Iota?
What is Save the Children's history of working in Central America? 
How can I help children and families impacted by Hurricane Iota?

How strong was Hurricane Iota?

Hurricane Iota, the 30th named storm of a record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, is now considered the strongest storm to hit Nicaragua in the country's history. 
As of early morning on Monday, November 16, Hurricane Iota had maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, classifying it as a Category 5 hurricane. 
Once the storm made landfall, it hit with maximum wind speeds of near 155 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, making it a Category 4 hurricane.

How many people have been impacted by Hurricane Iota?

Hurricane Iota comes just two weeks after Hurricane Eta caused many people in NicaraguaHonduras and Guatemala to lose everything. Across the regions, houses were destroyed or badly damaged, possessions were washed away and crops were destroyed. 
Electricity is down in many parts of the region, flooding is rampant and COVID-19 continues to surge.
Although the numbers continue to rise, Hurricanes Iota and Hurricane Eta have affected at least 4.9 million people across Central America. Conservative estimates account for 70,000 people living in temporary shelters. 

How is Save the Children responding to Hurricane Iota?

In the wake of both devastating storms, Save the Children immediately sprang into action, conducting rapid assessments to identify the most critical needs among storm-affected communities in Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
Our teams are acting rapidly to support the most vulnerable children and families in the following ways:
  • Delivering personal hygiene kits, cooking kits, and cleaning kits to support families in temporary shelters in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras.
  • Supporting women and girls in Honduras directly to ensure they are safe and protected.
  • Ensuring access to safe water in storm-affected communities in Guatemala.

What is Save the Children's history of working in Central America?

Save the Children has been working in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua for decades, working tirelessly to promote the rights of children and adolescents to education, health, and a life without violence. 
Through our education, health, nutrition, livelihoods, protection, and peace-building programs, we assist families affected by conflict and support communities in their fight to combat social, political and economic exclusion. 
As part of our humanitarian programs, Save the Children works to prevent forced migration and ensure that migrant children and their families are protected, treated with dignity, and receive the assistance they need while they are in transit. 
We also work with communities to prepare them for natural disasters, such as hurricanes, and we are among the first to respond and last to leave when disaster strikes.

How can I help children and families impacted by Hurricane Eta and Hurricane Iota?

With your support, Save the Children is on the ground distributing delivering hygiene kits and other critical supplies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in affected communities and temporary shelters. 

Your help is urgently needed to continue these lifesaving relief efforts and help keep children healthy and safe.

Donate to the Children's Emergency Fund today.


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