Disasters, Floods, Landslides, Hurricanes, Earthquakes
The Country of Honduras often gets huge storms during the Atlantic Tropical Hurricane Season as this extreme weather that develop in the Caribbean comes ashore and the energy is trapped by the mountainous terrain causing torrential downpours. In last week of October in 1998 Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras and killed more than 5,657 people (some estimates were 7,000) and created 2 million homeless (nearly 12,000 missing); most were children. The Banana Crop was destroyed too and the economic loss was huge for the Nations.
It was the worst recorded Hurricane in over 200 years and each year folks worry that another catastrophic storm could hit. The 2005 Hurricane season also had major storms that affected the Banana crop and flooded out many as well as resulting in massive deaths. Honduras is known for Hurricane weather especially along the Caribbean coastline and the flood damage is all too common. Inland landslides in the mountains also result from Hurricane storm remnants. More people are killed by the landslides and severe flooding or storm surges than the actual winds. Landslides and flash flooding have been known to bury entire villages within minutes in the mountainous regions of Central America.
Honduras is also very prone to Earthquakes, which makes sense if you look at its tall mountains, which did not get there by accident. Honduras has many Earthquakes every year, only a few are really serious. Occasionally a biggie comes along and wrecks havoc on the people there. There have been notable Earthquakes of six or greater magnitudes and two 7 magnitudes since the new millennium. Some of the Earthquakes come from off-shore in the Pacific Ocean while some epicenters occur on land.
Honduras also has Volcanoes and although they are not a huge issue, they are common in that region of Central America. Of course this also provides opportunity for Geo-Thermal Energy, which is a big plus for the Nation, as it grows in economic status and population. Honduras will need more energy in the future as the population grows about 2.4% per year.
Disease and HIV Crisis
HIV is causing severe concern in the country and many are now calling it an epidemic, as about 1.5% of the population of Honduras has HIV and are living with the virus. That number is growing at an alarming rate according to the World Health Organization and United Nations. This is the highest percentage in Central America. Although Honduras is roughly only 18% of the total population in Central America, it has nearly 60% of the known HIV/AIDS cases. Out of this huge HIV/AIDS virus infected folks only about 5,000 are receiving any treatment presently.
According to Walking With Children, a non-profit group in Wisconsin, USA they estimate almost 4,000 children are living with HIV now. Their group has set up a legal entity (Foundation) to build a center in hopes of that model being used throughout the nation to combat the AIDS crisis. They will assist with “the best quality care and education to persons infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.” Currently they are also working to foster psychological programs in Spanish for children and adolescents. They are indeed doing incredible work there along with other fine organizations. [www.walkingwithchildren.org].
Still 1.5% seems low since there are now places in the Congo in Africa where the HIV/AIDS rate is over 50%. Even still HIV/AIDS is something you must keep track of and work on because if it gets out of control over 6.5 million Hondurans will be at risk, according the World Health Organization.