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  • The Fuego volcano spews smoke and ash as seen from San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla, Guatemala June 12, 2018.

    The Fuego volcano spews smoke and ash as seen from San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla, Guatemala June 12, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 September 2018

A new platform was announced in Honduras with weather and tectonic info to reduce natural disasters and climate change that costs the region US$30 billion annually.

Natural disasters cause up to US$30 billion a year in Central America, making it the world’s second most vulnerable region to the phenomena.

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Guatemala: Fuego Volcano Death Toll Climbs To 121

The Mesoamerican Network for Risk Management Executive Director Lidia Fromm told Efe that the loss from natural disasters in the region ranges between US$ 20 to US$30 billion per year.

"We have succeeded in reducing the number of deaths from disasters as a region, (but) it has not been possible to reduce economic losses yet," she told reporters from the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa.

"Mesoamerica countries are making a lot of effort to creating infrastructure, but unfortunately five-day tropical storms sometimes come along and destroy them," Fromm stressed.

The director added there needs to be "a change in citizen culture" to reduce the expensive consequences of natural disasters. She added that the region is "extremely vulnerable" because climate change is creating more extreme weather and natural disasters.

With that, Fromm announced the release of a new real-time platform for officials in the region to access the speed of "wind, storms, and hurricanes,” and to see where droughts are forming and earthquakes are taking place in order to avoid the risks of each.

Fromm also suggested that country officials coordinate better share knowledge, challenges, and to identify "common solutions" from which all five countries could benefit.

The deputy director of the Permanent Commission on Hazards in Honduras (COPECO), Gustavo Cruz, told EFE that the computer platform can help countries make "appropriate decisions" in disaster prevention.

"Mesoamerica is one of the areas with the highest cyclone activity in the world, especially Honduras, we live with a permanent risk,” Cruz explained.

In mid-August, the Honduran government declared a state of emergency due to a major drought in the country’s central corridor which was caused by an El Niño weather pattern.

The Guatemalan government under President Jimmy Morales has been highly criticized for its lack of emergency response and follow up to the country’s major Fuego Volcano eruption that left at least 125 dead, 297 missing and almost 2 million people affected. The explosion also heavily affected the region’s agricultural sector that was economically devastated by the subsequent lava and ash.  

 

 


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