An “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane Etawah began on Monday in the western Caribbean toward Central America, where landslides are expected to hit the same region as Hurricane Eta last week.
Forecasters said the rapidly strengthening Etawah could wind up as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane.
The US National Hurricane Center stated in its 4 pm Monday advisory that Iota has maximum winds of 145 mph and that it was centered about 170 miles southeast of Cabo Gracias DIOS on the Nicaragua-Honduras border as it moved 10 mph. Went west at the speed of the hour.
According to Miami-based NHC, Etawah, the 30th hurricane of this year’s exceptionally busy Atlantic hurricane season, is expected to reach the mainland of Central America late Monday.
It forecasts “potentially destructive winds, a life-threatening storm and excessive rainfall for Mid-America” as Iota became the 13th hurricane of the year.
In Honduras, where compulsory evacuations began before the weekend, about 63,500 people were reported to be in 379 shelters in the northern region by Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, Nicaraguan officials said that by Sunday afternoon about 1,500 people had been evacuated from low-lying areas in the north-east of the country, including all those in Keio Misquitos.
In the coastal city of Bilvi, residents were trying to secure the roofs of wooden houses with similar zinc sheets cut by Eta. Many people were wrapping their belongings in plastic bags to protect them from the expected deluge.
“We are worried, nervous. Psychologically we are not doing well, because it is not easy to lose our things and start over. Some of us have old small houses and we risk losing everything.
Iota was forecast to receive up to 30 inches of rain in different locations, with 16 inches of rain in northern Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and southern Belize.
With post wires