When Category 5 Hurricane Iota roared over the small Colombian island of Providencia in the early hours of Monday morning, Yeisler Chamorro and his wife hunkered down underneath a mattress in their bedroom.
Nearly all the infrastructure on the island of some 6,000 people, near the coast of Central America, was damaged or destroyed by the storm, which sent rubble raining down on top of Chamorro, 29.
“I was saved by my mattress,” Chamorro said, as he showed a Reuters reporter the temporary repairs he has made to the room’s roof. “Stuff was falling on us, debris and everything, but thank God we survived. Material things you can get back, the important thing is life.”
Iota’s winds and heavy rains have killed around 40 people across Central America and Colombia, including at least two in Providencia.