"It was the most distressing": a Nicaraguan municipality cut off after Hurricane Julia

"It was the most distressing": a Nicaraguan municipality cut off after Hurricane Julia

After Hurricane Julia passed through Nicaragua, Álvaro Cuadras spent three days of anguish without knowing anything about his three brothers living in the municipality of El Rama, located in the Autonomous Region of the South Caribbean Coast (RACCS).

This municipality, located about 79 kilometers from Laguna de Perlas, the area where he entered the country on Sunday Category 1 Hurricane Juliawas one of the places most impacted by the natural phenomenon due to flooding.

This was due to the fact that, in this locality, three rivers of the more than 70 that overflowed as a result of the rains converge, according to data from the Nicaraguan government. These are the Siquia, Mico and Rama rivers.

Cuadras, 25 years old, managed to get information in those days through the media, most of them official, who spoke of intense rains. But on social networks, local media showed an even more worrying situation, with houses flooded.

“I have been incommunicado with my three brothers since Saturday, around 11 at night when the strong winds of the hurricane began to hit the city. I spent three nights without sleeping in peace and tranquility thinking about them, the torment is worse because I am out of the country, “Currencies explained to the voice of america in Costa Rica, where he resides since 2018.

Also originally from El Rama is Carlos, who asked to preserve his identity for security reasons. Saturday –one day before the hurricane made landfall on the South Caribbean coast of Nicaragua– was in Managua shopping. He spoke with her wife during the morning, but later that night he explains- he lost communication with her, so he traveled and when he arrived in her town on Sunday he was amazed to see how the rivers had overflowed their banks.

“I was not at home on Saturday. I traveled Sunday from Managua to El Rama. I managed to come at around 11:00 at night and there was no power, it was gloomy. I came to help pack personal belongings and I was scared,” the man said during a telephone interview with the VOA.

Communication in El Rama has been partially restored since this Wednesday morning, according to residents consulted for this report.

According to the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Post Office (Telcor), the municipalities of El Rama, Corn Island and Laguna de Perlas, all located in the South Caribbean of the country, were the most impacted in terms of telephone services. As of Wednesday, the agency indicates, this service has been partially restored, with the exception of El Rama.

“We were shocked at the devastation we saw and the flooding on the roads leading to El Rama. In the house where I live, the water had never entered in that way, the closest thing was when Hurricane Juana ”, adds Carlos, who lives in a two-story house and who packed all the belongings to raise them and protect them.

The government of Daniel Ortega has not yet delivered a complete report on the damage caused by the hurricane and has claimed that there are no victims, however, at least three deaths are reported in various media such as the Nicaraguan newspaper The Press.

Little by little, some basic services have been restored in El Rama. Courtesy.

Aid caravans to El Rama

In the midst of the floods, the director of the National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Attention (Sinapred), Guillermo González, announced that “caravans” loaded with food were sent to residents of El Rama, without specifying further details.

An estimated 52,000 inhabitants live in El Rama, according to data from the Nicaraguan National Institute of Development Information, but the government has not indicated how many of these residents were affected by the hurricane.

“There was a lot of destruction and material loss, but the most beautiful thing is that the population supported each other to protect themselves from the force of Hurricane Julia. My relatives are fine, thank God, the only thing is that they completely lost everything. At 25 years old, I never thought I would experience so much despair and anguish,” Cuadras concluded.

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