This week Hurricane Eta (category 4) has been travelling from Nicaragua through Honduras. It is the most severe hurricane to hit the country in decades. During Tuesday and Wednesday it was moving at 5mph, with winds gusting up to 145mph and rainfall estimated to be 25-35 inches. Rivers have become raging torrents, overflowing their banks, washing away bridges leaving some cities inaccessible.
There is widespread flooding, with some areas needing to be evacuated as water was several feet deep. In some places water was up to roof level. Housing in many areas is flooded, ruining family possessions as most properties of the poor are single storey.
Some areas of La Ceiba have needed to be evacuated, including the local prison with water up to chest level. Added to the flooding there have been landslides caused by the volume of water, particularly in the area where Pastor Hector lives, leading to severe damage/partial demolition of his house. His family evacuated the house shortly before this occurred and sustained no physical injury, but his wife and children were traumatised seeing it happen. All their possessions were lost, including work tools; they have only the clothes they were wearing.
Many thousands of families are affected, and were already struggling because of Covid quarantine leaving them with no income or food. Due to communication difficulties the full extent of the damage is not yet known. There is no electricity, no tap water, no TV for info; only intermittent mobile and internet signals.
Mary and the boys at Los Niños are safe. Pastor Fredy and his family are safe. Pastor Héctor and family have taken refuge with his younger brother on higher ground. So far they have been unable to communicate with the church plants in nearby towns, so their situation is unknown.
Finances will be needed to help the people recover, particularly for those whose houses have been damaged or demolished, but also for food and replacing personal possessions.
It will be a prolonged period of recovery from the effects of the hurricane for the country, with infrastructure needing replacement.
Please continue to pray.
If you would like to contribute to the gift that Melton Vineyard will be sending in support, please follow the link below to the Honduras giving fund. You can add Gift Aid to increase the value of your gift and all monies donated will be used to help relieve the situation.