The hurricane rainfall steadily pounded hillsides into mud slides and pushed rivers far beyond their banks. More than 10,000 people lost their lives as a result of Hurricane Mitch, which stomped through Central America and the Caribbean in October and November 1998. The storm also displaced 3 million people, inflicted billions of dollars worth of damage in the region, and created a public health hazard and a number of other problems, according to a U.S. government analysis.
Mitch “literally was the worst storm in the history of this hemisphere,” said Tipper Gore, wife of the U.S. vice president, who led a U.S. delegation to the region following the hurricane. And Mitch hit just one month after Hurricane George whipped through the Caribbean.