ETA and IOTA hurricanes effects in Honduras (2020-12-03)

Collection: CEMS-RRM : CEMS Risk and Recovery Mapping 


Activation date: 2020-12-03
Event type: Storm

Activation reason:

The CEMS Risk and Recovery Standard has been activated to assess the effects of Eta and Iota hurricanes that hit Central America starting from the beginning of November 2020. Two areas of interest (AOIs) in Honduras have been analysed. In AOI01-La Lima, located in the Ulua basin, Eta triggered large scale historic level floods, and Iota struck the region with even more intense weather that worsened conditions. The objective of this activation is to get a temporal analysis of the flood events, and their impact on assets and population. In AOI02-El Cajon, where the hurricanes have led to a number of landslides, the goal of this activation is to evaluate the risk of future landslides in the already affected area surrounding El Cajon hydropower reservoir.Proposed solution and resultsIn AOI01-La Lima, a hydraulic modelling approach has been adopted to provide the temporal analysis of the occurred extreme flood events (P06 product) in terms of maximum flood extent, maximum water depth, and maximum flood retention information estimated during the period 2nd - 13th November 2020 (Eta), and 16th - 24th November 2020 (Iota). Additional CEMS Risk and Recovery products have supported the modelling: the P04-Flood delineation on the 19th November 2020, and the pre-event P03.5 LULC-CLC product.  The maximum flood extent retrieved from the hydraulic modelling is 21827.4 ha caused by Eta, and 18351.8 ha caused by Iota. The water depth range has been estimated between 0.15 and 4 m (1.8 m on average).Figure 1 - Flooding in La Lima as provided by (Left) P04 Flood delineation and water depth as of 19.11.2020, and by (Right) P06 Temporal analysis of occurred flood events- Maximum flood extent and depth caused by Iota event. The impact of the flood events (P14 products) estimated by considering the P06 maximum flood extent products proves that Eta damaged roads, buildings, facilities to a slightly larger extent with respect to Iota.Figure 2 - P06 Temporal analysis of occurred flood events as flood extent during 12 days of Eta and 9 days of Iota. In AOI02- El Cajon, a post event P03.5 LULC-CLC product has been generated to support the post-disaster landslide risk assessment (P17 product). As a result, 30% of the area is characterized by high or very-high risk, while nearly 18% presents low or very-low risk, and 34% moderate risk.Figure 3 Examples of high(orange) and very-high(red) landslide risk areas (P17) (bottom) and correspondent land cover (P03.5) in AOI02-El Cajon (top). 


jrc-ems-rapidmapping (at)


How to cite

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) (2020): ETA and IOTA hurricanes effects in Honduras (2020-12-03). European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) [Dataset] PID:


CEMS Copernicus Copernicus Emergency Management Service Copernicus Emergency Management Service Risk and Recovery Mapping Activation Copernicus EMS Emergency Copernicus Service Emergency Management EMSN084 HND Storm Honduras Mapping Risk and Recovery Mapping

Data access

Copernicus EMS Risk and Recovery Mapping Activation [EMSN084]: ETA and IOTA hurricanes effects in Honduras (2020-12-03)
  • Maps produced in scope of this Copernicus EMS Risk and Recovery Mapping activation downloadable as georeferenced PDFs, TIFFs and JPEGs together with relevant geodatabase (GDB) and complete final report as well.

Spatial coverage

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European Commission, Joint Research Centre
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Regions and cities, Science and technology
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