November 6th, 2009

Hurricane Ida

Posted at 3:21 PM ET

small-hurricane-idaIda developed in the Caribbean Sea on November 4, 2009 and is currently located approximately 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Ida is currently a tropical depression with sustained winds of around 35 mph (55 kmph). Ida is expected to move across eastern Honduras today and emerge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea within the next 12 to 18 hours. Although forecasters said Ida will weaken as it continues to move over Honduras, the depression is likely to intensify as it enters the Caribbean Sea. Therefore, a tropical storm watch has been issued for the northeast coast of Honduras. Ida’s slow forward speed makes it a significant flood threat, and the NHC said Ida could dump up to 20 inches (510 millimeters) of rain in parts of Honduras and Nicaragua, with the risk of life threatening floods and mudslides.

Earlier, Ida made landfall over the east coast of Nicaragua on November 5, 2009 with sustained winds of around 75 mph (125 kmph), equivalent to a weak category 1 hurricane. Ida quickly intensified into a hurricane around 24 hours after it developed, and the storm brought powerful winds and heavy rain to eastern regions of Nicaragua. According to reports, Ida caused widespread damage and disruption in eastern Nicaragua, destroying buildings and causing major damage to infrastructure. Officials said around 100 homes were destroyed in the fishing village of Karawala (around 80 percent of the total), while bridges, schools and government buildings were badly damaged. Officials said around 4,000 people in eastern Nicaragua evacuated their homes as the storm approached and 6,000 more were affected by the hurricane. Widespread power outages were reported as the strong winds downed power lines and trees. However, there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.


Hazard data illustrated in the CAT-i map was taken from i-aXs®, Guy Carpenter’s web-based risk management platform. i-aXs users can view impacted areas on any map as well as see how their portfolios were affected. Please contact your broker or Instrat® representative for assistance or go to for further information.

There is considerable uncertainty over the path Ida will take over the next five days, with some forecast models predicting landfall over the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico while others take it into the Gulf of Mexico. The NHC currently expects Ida to re-intensity into a tropical storm as it moves back into the Caribbean Sea. The storm is then expected to skirt the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula on November 9 before moving into the Gulf of Mexico, where forecasters say conditions are still conducive for further development.

Sources: National Hurricane Center, WSI, Associated Press, Reuters News, Agence France Presse

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Guy Carpenter’s Instrat® department provides CAT-i reports for major natural catastrophes worldwide. These reports cover catastrophes including worldwide tropical cyclones, earthquakes, major UK and European floods and any other natural event that is likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

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