Felix Death Toll Washes Up on Coastline
Joshua S Hill
special to mongabay.com
September 7, 2007
The death toll has continued to escalate over the past several days. The most recent discovery of bodies belonging to Miskito Indians found in the Caribbean off the coast of Central America are believed to be from a boat that was caught in the monster seas as Felix swept through.
Local fishermen have also reported that they have witnessed dead still tied to trees in what would have been a vain attempt to stay safe from the winds. It is also believed that villagers were sucked away from their beach side shacks to eventually drown in the squalls.
Hurricane Felix was approaching the Central American coastline on September 4, 2007, when the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) captured the data used to make this image shortly after midnight local time (06:04 UTC). The image shows rainfall rates within the powerful storm overlaid on a visible image of the storm. Areas in which rainfall is heaviest are red, while regions of lighter rainfall are blue.
At the time that TRMM observed Felix, the storm was strengthening from Category 4 to Category 5 status with sustained winds near 215 kilometers per hour (135 miles per hour), according to the National Hurricane Center. Felix developed very rapidly. The storm formed on the evening of August 31 and had grown into a hurricane by the next day. By September 2, Felix had become a rare Category 5 storm. It was the second Category 5 storm to make landfall in as many weeks.
Image produced by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC).
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced that some 10,000 homes were destroyed, with 50,000 people apparently having lost everything they owned. "It is worse than we previously thought," he said during a meeting with government and military officials on Thursday.
After effects of the storm are continuing to affect Central America, with fear of flooding as rain continues to steadily fall. Already two people have been killed in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa after the streets and markets were flooded.