The torrential downpours recorded during the last week caused the death of at least five people, including a child under eight months, who drowned due to the overflow of rivers and landslides that occurred in the municipalities of San José de Bocay and Wiwilí, in Jinotega, according to the latest report of the National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Attention (Sinapred).
Between June 1 and 4, Juan Picado, 24, and Bertilia González, 47, from the El Jilguero community, died. In Runflín, in San José de Bocay, a landslide swept away the family of José Espinoza Rivera, 32, who died along with his wife, Auxiliadora González, 26; his son Melvin – eight months old and whose body was found this Saturday – while the youngest of two years, Maryury is still missing.
Sources in the area confirmed to CONFIDENTIAL that the number of dead could be higher than that reported by the authorities -approximately 12-, due to the fact that there are still missing persons and the conditions of the place complicate the rescue work. Only this Friday, residents found two bodies floating in the Ayapal River; the bodies were buried almost immediately due to their state of decomposition.
In Runflín, 21 houses were completely destroyed and 40 have partial damage, according to Sinapred, although the locals assure that 30 houses have been razed.
In the latest report from the authorities, they indicate that another six houses were destroyed in Wiwilí by the storm and 55 were partially damaged. Another landslide also occurred that affected the communities of San Pedro de Kininowás, Los Milagros, Santa Elena, Las Minas Sector One, Las Minas Sector Two, El Jilguero and La Tigra, causing the self-evacuation of 175 people.
a night of anguish
“Manuel” was one of the witnesses of the disaster. He agreed to speak to this outlet on condition of anonymity. He narrates that the rain did not stop from 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31, to midnight on June 1. There were five hours of a downpour that overflowed the Bocay and Ayapal rivers, affecting the communities of Runflín, Aguas Calientes, Pie del Cerro Gacho and Ayapal.
“Manuel” heard everything from a farm, located about 50 meters from the Ayapal River. “That was panicking,” he says, referring to the force of the rain. He compares the sound of the landslide – a mix of water, dirt, trees and rocks – to the rumble of airplanes taking off. “That was terrible, that trembled,” he says. He decided to go “to the mountain” because he feared that the level of the river would reach his house.
In that area, the landslide occurred on Cerro Gacho, where according to the Sinapred report this Friday, two houses were destroyed, and the owners Manuel Villagra, 39, and Nidia Yesenia Rodríguez, 35, are missing.
“Manuel” assures that the families affected by the rains are in “anxiety”, “a lot of anxiety”, he repeats worried. They are homeless, without material goods, while the authorities “only came to inspect nothing else, but we have not seen any medical brigade, nothing,” he claims.
The victims evacuated themselves in the houses of relatives, friends, acquaintances, churches located in safer areas, said “Manuel”. They still remain there.
The rains are expected to continue over the national territory as a result of the entry of tropical waves.