Nicaraguan Americans organize relief as second major hurricane strikes in two weeks

Category 5 Iota making landfall in nearly the exact same spot as Category 4 Eta

Nicaraguan Americans look to help as second major hurricane strikes in two weeks

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Just two weeks after Eta devastated the region Central America is once again being battered by a major hurricane. The northeast corner of Nicaragua took the full force of Category 4 Eta on November 3, 2020.

Although he’s lived in Louisiana for the last 50 years, Jose Arrechevalla was born in the area. He said, “The main city is Puerto Cabezas, but around Puerto Cabezas there are about 400 different communities and small towns with about 10,000 people. They lost everything.”

Arrechevalla also said, “Most of the poor people from Nicaragua live in that area.” The loss was already hard to bear and as the clean-up and recovery effort was just getting started little progress could be made. He said, “Last week we went to a small town where it was about 190 houses totally destroyed and that group, they bring some roof material and they did some kind of roof work and tried to get some families back, but it’s a lot of things to do.”

Now all the work will likely be destroyed again as Category 5 Iota strikes in nearly the same location. Arrechevalla said, “We stopped doing what we were doing waiting for this new hurricane. It’s very complicated. It’s very complicated and sad for our people.”

Arrechevalla works with two Nicaraguan American nonprofits in Louisiana to help get relief to the area. He said it’s hard facing a second storm so soon, "People you know they try to save their life and try to find the best place to stay this time. They learned something from the past one and they confused you know. "

Shelters are full and some communities are cut off from the larger city. “A lot of the people they live across the border or the river and they can not come and move anywhere. They have to do the best thing, but no place where they can say is a security place,” said Arrechevalla.

Tens of thousands of people will be subjected to days of battering winds, rain, floods and landslides in already weakened shelters.

Arrechevalla hopes to be ready to send help as soon as the storm subsides.

Get more information on how to help by calling Arrechevalla at 504-466-1483 or 504-487-4439. You can send a check to Nicaraguan Independent Committee For Assistance, Inc. (NICA) to 1942 Williams Blvd. Kenner, LA Suite 2, 70062.

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