Relentless Rain in Central America; New MERS Cluster in Saudi Arabia
Remnants of Cyclone May Worsen Flood Conditions in Central America
Several parts of Central America have been experiencing above-average rainfall over the past four weeks, and forecasts show the trend continuing as the dissipating Tropical Depression Nine moves eastward into the Yucatan Channel (CPC). Seasonal rainfall surpluses have been recorded across Central America, and over the past week, heavy rains triggered floods in departments of Guatemala, San Pedro Sula in western Honduras, and north-central Nicaragua. Reports indicate that as of October 20, floods and landslides had claimed more than 30 lives and affected over 100,000 people. (ECHO Daily Flash 21 October 2014)
According to the NHC’s last public advisory for Tropical Depression Nine on October 22 (2200 CDT), the system is expected to weaken as it tracks inland over the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, but total rainfall accumulations of 5-10 inches (maximum 15 inches) are expected, increasing the risk of flash flooding (NHC Advisory #5).
MERS Cluster Prompts Improved Hospital Measures
Health officials in Saudi Arabia confirmed nine new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the city of Taif (near Mecca) over the past two weeks, and warned that more cases may be on the way (MOH, CIDRAP). In addition to implementing new infection control measures in two local hospitals, the Ministry of Health is expanding its collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, as exposure to camels is believed to be the cause of the recent cases. Studies indicate that camels play an important role in the transmission of MERS to humans (ECDC). As of October 21, 906 confirmed cases of MERS have been reported worldwide, including 361 deaths (ECDC).
Current Hazard Warnings
Drought: United States (Southwest, Pacific), Bolivia
Biomedical: West Africa
Wildfire: United States (Oregon, California)
Flood: Czech Republic (Southwest), Central America (Pacific Basin), Sudan (South)
Landslide: Central America (Pacific Basin)
Severe Weather: Austria
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