Overall Red alert Tropical Cyclone for ETA-20
in Nicaragua, United States, Honduras

Event summary

Tropical Cyclone ETA-20 can have a high humanitarian impact based on the maximum sustained wind speed, exposed population and vulnerability.

GDACS ID TC 1000738
Name ETA-20
From - To 31 Oct - 13 Nov
Exposed countries Nicaragua, United States, Honduras
Exposed population 200 thousand in Category 1 or higher
Maximum wind speed 241 km/h Category 4
Maximum storm surge 1.4 m (03 Nov 21:00 UTC)
Vulnerability Medium (Nicaragua)


For more info on GDACS alert score click here.
Wind Storm surge Rainfall GDACS score
GDACS 241 km/h 1.4 m n.a. 2.5
Single TC: maximum expected impact (wind, storm surge, rainfall)
HWRF 252 km/h 1.8 m 1305 mm 1.5
GFS 176 km/h 1.6 m 934 mm 0.5
ECMWF 144 km/h 1.1 m 1340 mm 0.5
Beta Version - All weather systems in the area: maximum expected impact (wind, storm surge, rainfall)
Maximum expected impact (wind, storm surge and rainfall) using different data sources.
Virtual OSOCC
Meteo assessment
Satellite products
Analytical products
Central America, The Caribbean, USA - Tropical Cyclone ETA update (ECHO 13 Nov 2020)Fri, 13 Nov 2020 02:00

  • Tropical Storm ETA made landfall over north-western Florida on the morning of 12 November.
  • One fatality has been reported in Florida, as flash floods occurred across Florida and South Carolina. Meanwhile, the number of fatalities caused by heavy rainfall, floods, and landslides following the passage of ETA has increased.
  • In Panama, 17 people died and 62 others are missing. In Guatemala, landslides continue to occur, due to continuous rainfall, and 142 people have died or are missing, as reported by national authorities on 11 November. According to UN OCHA, 72,300 people are currently sheltered in evacuation centres in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico. 
  • To respond to human needs caused by the passage of ETA, EUR 1,550,000 of EU fundings have been allocated in Honduras (EUR 900,000), Nicaragua (EUR 350,000), and Guatemala (EUR 300,000). Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EU CPM) assistance from Spain has been delivered to Panama.
  • A new tropical depression is likely to form within 48 hours, moving slowly westward over the central and western Caribbean Sea, intensifying.
Central America, The Caribbean, USA - Tropical Cyclone ETA update Wed, 11 Nov 2020 10:49

  • Tropical Cyclone ETA continued moving north over the Gulf of Mexico toward north-western Florida, as a Tropical Storm. On 11 November at 6.00 UTC, its centre was located approximately 420 km south-west of Tampa City, and approximately 340 km west of the southernmost part of Florida Peninsula, with maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h (Tropical Depression).
  • UN OCHA report, as of 11 November, around 74,000 evacuated people (of which 8,000 in a number of evacuation centres) across western Cuba. In Honduras, 37,000 people were reported evacuated, and approximately 1.8 million affected. In Nicaragua, 47,000 people were reported evacuated, and around 130,000 affected.
  • ETA is forecast to continue moving over the Gulf of Mexico and it is expected to make landfall over the Levy County (north-western Florida) on 13 November very early in the morning (UTC),  with maximum sustained winds of 80-85 km/h (Tropical Storm). After that it is forecast to continue moving inland over northern Florida and southern Georgia on 13-14 November, weakening and dissipating.
  • Heavy rainfall, strong wind, and storm surge are forecast over southern, and western Florida on 11-13 November, as well as over western Cuba on 11 November. NOAA has issued a tropical storm warning over the whole western coastal area of Florida.


Central America, The Caribbean, USA - Tropical Cyclone ETA update (ECHO 10 Nov 2020)Tue, 10 Nov 2020 11:05

  • Tropical storm ETA is moving south-west over the western Straits of Florida, on 10 November its center was located approximately 130 km north-west of Mantua Municipality (Pinar del Rio Province, western Cuba).
  • Widespread flooding has been reported across Florida Keys and southern Florida, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale cities. Meanwhile around 3 million people have been affected by the passage of ETA through Central America, as reported by UN OCHA.
  • The impact caused by ETA, may worsen the existing food crisis and increase the threat of vector-borne diseases in the region, heavily affected by COVID-19 pandemic and with pre-existing vulnerabilities.
  • ETA is forecast to strengthen as it turns north over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
  • Flood warnings have been issued for the eastern coast of Florida from Miami to Fort Lauderdale.In Cuba, where the land is already waterlogged, moderate to locally heavy rainfall are forecast over Pinar del Rio over the next 24 hours and further cyclones are predicted. Landslides are reported in Jamaica due to heavy rainfall.
Central America, The Caribbean, USA - Tropical Cyclone ETA update (ECHO 09 Nov 2020)Mon, 09 Nov 2020 02:00

  • After making landfall over central Cuba, Tropical Storm ETA reached the Florida Keys islands and its center was located approximately 40 km north-west of Marathon (Florida Keys).
  • It is forecast to strengthen, as it moves west over the Straits of Florida, then it is expected to move north and make landfall over western Florida.
  • Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in effect for the Florida Keys and tropical storm warnings were issued for the north-western Bahamas and the central coast of eastern and western Florida.
  • The passage of ETA caused several fatalities and damage, over 3 million people have been affected across Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize. In Panama, rainfall triggered landslides, which affected about 1,000 people, in the north-western Ngäbe Buglé indigenous territory.
  • The Governments of Honduras and Panama submitted a request for the activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EU CPM) on 7 and 8 November, respectively. During the passage of ETA through Cuba, rivers overflow and flooding have been reported and 74,000 people have been evacuated.
Central America - Tropical Cyclone ETA Fri, 06 Nov 2020 11:04

  • The passage of Tropical Cyclone ETA across eastern Central America has caused heavy rainfall, extensive flooding, and landslides, resulting in several fatalities and damage.
  • According to media, more than 50 people died in Guatemala after mudslides and flood events, affecting 27,770 people in the departments of Alta Verapaz, Petén, Quiché, and Sololá. In Honduras, thirteen people died, and more than 3,600 have been sheltered in evacuation centers. At least five people died and two are missing because of flooding and landslides in Chiriqui Province (Panama), while two fatalities have been confirmed in Nicaragua.
  • ETA is moving over the western Caribbean Sea, and on 6 November at 6.00 UTC, its center was located 65 km east of Dangriga City (south-eastern Belize), with maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h (tropical depression). ETA is forecast to strengthen to a Tropical Storm, as it moves north-east over the Caribbean Sea, reaching the southern coast of central Cuba on the morning of 8 October. 
  • According to UN OCHA, red alerts have been issued for several departments in Honduras, El Salvador, one department in Nicaragua, and 10 regions in Costa Rica, while nine departments in Guatemala are under state of calamity. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Cayman Islands.
  • Several maps have been produced following the activation (EMSR477) of the EU Copernicus Emergency Mapping Services.
Central America, The Caribbean - Tropical Cyclone ETA (ECHO 05 Nov 2020)Thu, 05 Nov 2020 11:09

  • On 4 November, Hurricane ETA degraded to Tropical Storm, continued inland over northern Nicaragua entering Honduras. On 5 November, its center was located approximately 100 km east of Tegucigalpa (the capital of Honduras). The President has declared National Emergency.
  • UN OCHA reports, as of 5 November, 2 fatalities and around 30,000 displaced people across Nicaragua. Assessments are ongoing, but initial data received at field level indicates a critical situation, especially in the northern east coast.
  • In Honduras, one fatalities, more than 2,500 displaced people and 3,480 affected people were also reported. UN OCHA also refers to 27,770 affected people in Guatemala, 1,000 in Panama, and around 500 displaced people across Costa Rica.
  • ETA is forecast to continue inland over central Honduras on 5 November as a Tropical Depression. After that, it is expected to move north-east over the Caribbean Sea on 6-8 November and could approach central Cuba in the afternoon (UTC) of 8 November as a Tropical Storm. On 5-9 November, heavy rainfall, strong wind and storm surge are forecast over the region.
Nicaragua, Honduras - Hurricane ETA update (ECHO 04 Nov 2020)Wed, 04 Nov 2020 11:03

  • Hurricane ETA continues to move inland over north-eastern Nicaragua. Strong wind and heavy rainfall have been reported across Nicaragua and Honduras.
  • According to media, 2 people died in Bonanza Municipality (Nicaragua) and one in Honduras. In northern Nicaragua, about 30,000 people have been evacuated to shelters, in Honduras heavy rainfall affected about 400 people and prompted nearly 800 evacuations, as reported by UN OCHA.
  • Main needs identified by DG ECHO partners in Nicaragua are, Health, WASH, Food and Shelters. In Honduras, the Government published a call for emergency and is preparing a list of needs to be sent to the international community.
  • While ETA is forecast to downgrade to a Tropical Storm the situation is deemed to be worse for Honduras, where the Tropical Storm is expected to reach the central southern part of the territory in the late evening of 4 November, as it implies a slower pace and heavier rain on an already saturated land after a wet winter.
  • Serious risks of landslides and floods are foreseen for the next days.
Nicaragua, Honduras - Hurricane ETA (ECHO 03 Nov 2020)Tue, 03 Nov 2020 11:13

  • The new Hurricane ETA is moving west over the Caribbean Sea towards the eastern coast of northern Nicaragua. On 3 November, its center was located approximately 60 km east of Puerto Cabezas City (RACCN, northern Nicaragua), and 120 km south-east of Nicaragua/Honduras border, with maximum sustained wind of 240 km/h (Category 4 Hurricane). 
  • ETA may become a Category 5 Hurricane before making landfall and it is expected to reach the coast of southern Puerto Cabezas in the afternoon of 3 November. Heavy rainfall, high storm surge, and strong wind are forecast over northern Nicaragua.
  • Evacuation orders have been issued for coastal areas in Nicaragua and Honduras, while in Nicaragua, red alerts have been declared for the Autonomous Region of the Northern Caribbean and the Mining Triangle.
  • A hurricane warning is in effect for coastal areas from the Honduras/Nicaragua border to the central coast of Nicaragua. A tropical storm warning has been issued for coastal areas from central Honduras to the Honduras/Nicaragua border.
Detailed event map. European Union, 2021. Map produced by EC-JRC.
The boundaries and the names shown on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the European Union.

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Latest media headlines

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Exposed population

Data, images, links, services and documents

For this events, GDACS has links to information from the following sources: EMSR (4), UNOSAT (1), EC-JRC (38), (1), WMO (1), INFORM (2),