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Honduras: Heavy rain in northern departments January 30

Cold front brings heavy rain to northern Honduras January 30; consequent flooding and traffic disruptions reported

TIMEFRAME expected from 1/30/2018, 12:00 AM until 2/2/2018, 11:59 PM (America/Tegucigalpa). COUNTRY/REGION Cortés department, Santa Bárbara department, Yoro department, Atlántida department, Islas De La Bahía department, Colón department
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Event

A cold front has brought heavy rain to parts of northern Honduras since Monday, January 29, resulting in associated traffic disruptions. As of roughly 15:00 (local time) on Tuesday, January 30, the Honduran Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (COPECO) had issued a yellow alert (second-highest level on a three-tiered scale, indicating that there is an imminent risk to people in affected areas and that evacuation orders may be issued shortly) for Cortés department and the Chamelecón River watershed, and a green alert (lowest level on a three-tiered scale, indicating that authorities have forecast dangerous weather phenomena in the area) for the departments of Santa Bárbara, Yoro, Atlántida, Islas De La Bahía, and Colón.

According to local media sources on Tuesday, the cold front has already resulted in flooding, sinkholes, and related transportation disruptions in some areas of northern Honduras. Among the most affected municipalities are San Pedro Sula (Cortés department), Omoa (Cortés department), and Santa Bárbara (Santa Bárbara department). Notably, parts of the CA-13 highway, connecting Honduras to neighboring Guatemala, were obstructed by floodwaters, according to media reports published Tuesday. Additionally, rains have flooded lower parts of San Pedro Sula, hindering traffic.

The cold front is forecast to bring high winds and rainfall accumulations totaling 10-15 cm (3.9-5.9 in) to parts of the abovementioned departments along the Atlantic coast through Friday, February 2. Associated flooding damages and transportation disruptions are expected, and evacuations and power outages are possible, in the affected areas in the coming days.

Context

The rainy season in Honduras generally runs from October to February.

Advice

Individuals in northern Honduras are advised to monitor local weather forecasts, confirm travel reservations, and adhere to all advice issued by the local authorities. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.

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