Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hailstorm Hits the Communities of La Unión

This past week, a sunny afternoon turned tragic in La Unión as the most intense hailstorm in La Unión’s history fell down upon houses, inhabitants, and farms. Hail the size of lemons and oranges carried enough force to punch through tin roofs of homes. Many people were caught outside during the sudden onslaught of hail and sustained injuries. Thankfully, nobody was killed. Although the storm hit all of La Unión, there was one area of communities which sustained the largest amount of damage.

Hail punched holes through the roof
of a house in Chimizal
In the town of Chimizal, many families have moved temporarily into the school building because the storm left their houses uninhabitable.

Farms sustained significant damage during this event. In the areas most affected, any remaining harvest was destroyed and trees sustained heavy damage—trees were left without leaves and both trunks and branches were damaged by the impact of the hail. IHCAFE engineers are in the process of assessing the damage. Initial findings suggest that many trees were not killed in the incident, but there is doubt whether they will produce a harvest in the coming year.

UMF is joining the local La Unión government, IHCAFE, and other institutions in the area in a recovery effort both short and long term. We are still in the process of assessing damage that has occurred and creating a plan moving forward. We will give more information and developments as they are available, but ask that all reading this keep the people of La Unión in their thoughts and prayers.

Hail destroyed current harvest, stripped coffee plants
of their leaves, and left trunks and branches heavily damaged.
In background, banana trees and fences have been snapped
in half

A healthy coffee field near Chimizal before the hailstorm
(note: not the same field as above picture, but
included for comparison)


  1. It must have been a heavy pelting hailstorm. Look what happened to the temporary fence, they are bent the wrong way.

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