Iota, which intensified early this Monday to become a major category hurricane, reached category 5 this morning, the maximum on the Saffir Simpson scale, as it approaches Central America, where it is expected to make landfall tonight, reported the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the USA.
In its 15.00 GMT bulletin, the NHC reported that the hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 260 kilometers per hour (160 m / h) as it approaches Nicaragua and Honduras
Has not yet recovered from the destructive step of tropical storm Eta and Central America is already preparing the arrival of Iota.
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After causing havoc and extensive damage in northern Colombia, Iota heads to the Autonomous Region of the Northern Caribbean, in Nicaragua, where it is expected to arrive this Monday.
The inhabitants of the area are preparing to face heavy rains, storm surge and winds that they describe as ‘catastrophic’.
Nicaraguan and Honduran authorities have activated red alerts in several regions and have begun evacuating citizens, en masse, to safer places.
Sea level could rise by about 4.5 meters above its normal level and severe flash floods, river overflows and landslides are anticipated.
The US National Hurricane Center warns of potentially very destructive tidal rises in northeastern Nicaragua tonight.
It will be followed by a risk of serious floods throughout Central America, especially in Honduras and Nicaragua with “potentially catastrophic impacts.” The US center estimates that these conditions will remain until Thursday.
The northeast area of Nicaragua is very prone to flooding, among other things due to its orography. The lower areas on the shores of the Caribbean Sea receive large amounts of rainfall due to the mountainous reliefs in the interior, which retain rainfall.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has broken all records with 30 named tropical storms. Meteorologists have had to turn to the Greek alphabet to name them because the Latin one ran out for a long time.