Footage has emerged of police officers joining with local church members in Honduras to pray as Hurricane Iota hits Central America. Despite being downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, Iota continues to wreak havoc across southern Honduras, dousing the region with torrential downpours and causing widespread flash flooding.
In the powerful video shared by the National Police of Honduras (Policía Nacional de Honduras), a large group of civilians and police officers can be seen calling out to God on a bridge overlooking the Ulúa river in the Pimienta municipality of Cortés, Honduras.
Translated, the tweet reads: "Prayer with faith by police officers and members of churches, in the flow of the Ulúa River, in Pimienta, Cortés."
In the mountainous regions surrounding the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, residents have been evacuating due to a fear of potential landslides caused by the relentless rain. A similar evacuation has been enacted along the country's remote eastern coast, as residents fall victim to flash flooding.
Emergency personnel are doing their best to rescue those caught stranded by the rising waters, but the evacuations are proving difficult in many areas. "We are facing an incredible emergency,” Mirna Wood, vice president of the Miskito ethnic group in Honduras’ far east Gracias a Dios region, told AP. “There is no food. There is no water.”
More than 600 temporary shelters have been erected to help Hondurans, though many are concerned by the lack of emergency relief supplies. "We could die," one woman told CBC. "There is nothing to eat at all," she added, noting that the storm had destroyed many of the local farms.
Other tweets sent by the National Police of Honduras showed agents performing a high-risk evacuation on a hillside and with officers gathering together to "pray for national healing".
In neighbouring Nicaragua, it was reported by the Vice President and first lady Rosario Murillo that a brother and sister, aged eleven and eight, had drowned while attempting to cross the swollen Solera River - many others have been reported missing in the area.
Iota is the second hurricane to strike Central America this month. Hurricane Eta, which made landfall on 3rd November, caused the death of more than 200 people across Central America and Mexico.