(updated April 9, 10:30 a.m.)- A total of 1,218 Nicaraguans were reportedly stung by jellyfish while bathing in the Pacific Ocean during Semana Santa, according to the Red Cross’ final report on Monday morning.
In past years an average of 5-10 Nicaraguans have reported jellyfish stings during Semana Santa, according to the Red Cross.
None of the stings were serious, but all the local media noted the unusually high presence of jellyfish at Nicaragua’s beaches. The official media blamed the incident on global warming.
Lifeguards from the Red Cross saved 363 swimmers during Semana Santa, and 10 Nicaraguans reportedly drowned at various beaches, lakes, rivers and swimming holes around the country, according to the Red Cross. Other estimates place the number of drowning victims at 22.
Though Nicaraguan Police have not given an official Semana Santa death toll yet, more than 50 Nicaraguans died by drowning, in highway accidents or in homicides this week, according to preliminary numbers published in the local press. By comparison, 66 Nicaraguans died last year during Semana Santa, which is typically one of the most violent weeks of the year.