TODAY NICARAGUA – Hurricane Iota, which reached the highest category (5) on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, downgraded to category 2 as it passed through Nicaragua early Tuesday morning, still represents a grave danger to the country.
Iota, which has already left one person dead in its path through the San Andres Island, in the Caribbean Sea, reached Nicaragua in the first hours of Tuesday with maximum sustained winds of almost 250 kilometers per hour and qualified by the meteorologists as “extremely dangerous”.
The Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (Ineter) – Nicaragua’s Institute of Territorial Studies – downgraded the hurricane to a category 2, with maximum sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour.
At 3:00 am Tuesday, it was 23 kilometers south-east of Rosita and 52 kilometers east of Siuna, moving westbound.
In a message on radio and television, Daniel Ortega, highlighted that the entire country is in a national emergency because it is facing two hurricanes in a row.
Hurricane Eta swept through the country, along almost the same path, 13 days ago.
— FimC (@hellen3030) November 17, 2020
Nicaragua’s National System for the Prevention, Mitigation, and Attention to Disasters (Sinapred) said that Iota is expected to advance on land through Prinzapolka municipality towards the Mining Triangle with the category of hurricane.
It is expected to reach Honduras Tuesday afternoon as a tropical storm and advance to the Pacific Ocean through El Salvador.
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) November 17, 2020
Over 40,000 people were moved to safe shelters ahead of Iota making landfall. For the evacuation efforts, the Nicaraguan army activated over 9,000 members, while the national police mobilized over 8,600 officers.
Iota is the record 30th named storm of this year’s extraordinary Atlantic hurricane season. It’s also the ninth storm to rapidly intensify this season, a dangerous phenomenon that is happening increasingly more often.
Such activity has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say is causing wetter, stronger and more destructive storms.