Hurricane Iota Barrels Towards Central America
Hurricane Iota, upgraded to a Category 1 storm, moved closer to Central America on Sunday as countries hit by the devastation of Hurricane Eta nearly two weeks ago prepared for another major storm system.
“It’s scary that it is similar in wind speed and also in the area where Eta hit,” said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman and meteorologist for the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Iota is expected to land on the coast of Nicaragua and Honduras as a Category 4 storm on Monday evening. According to a Sunday report at 4 p.m., the storm worsened “quickly”. It was about 285 miles east-southeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua-Honduras border, moving west at nine miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour
The effects of the storm will be felt “long before the center lands,” said Feltgen.
Catastrophic winds and a life-threatening rise in water levels could hit parts of the coast of Nicaragua-Honduras. Heavy rains are expected in parts of Central America by Friday and can lead to heavy flooding and mudslides in higher elevations. The storm will ease on landing as it moves over mountainous terrain, the center said.
Forecasters warned that damage from Hurricane Iota could worsen the destruction caused by Hurricane Eta in Central America.
Across Central America, more than 60 deaths have been confirmed from Hurricane Eta. In Guatemala, rescuers feared more than 100 people had been killed after the storm chopped off part of a mountainside that destroyed several houses in Quejá village.
Many people became homeless after some buildings were damaged or destroyed, Feltgen said. “Shelter will be a problem.”
The 2020 hurricane season in the Atlantic, which ends on November 30th, was record breaking: 30 named storms and 13 hurricanes. Meteorologists exhausted the list of 21 names used each season and turned to the Greek alphabet to name systems. The Greek alphabet was last used in 2005, when 28 storms were strong enough to be named.