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Julia hits Nicaragua as a category 1 hurricane: more than 5,000 homes damaged

Hurricane Julia made landfall on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua early Sunday with winds of 140 km/h, impacting between Orinoco and Laguna de Perlas

TODAY NICARAGUA – Hurricane Julia entered Nicaragua via the Caribbean coast early Sunday with winds of 85 mph (140 km/h), impacting between Orinoco and Laguna de Perlas, and weakened as it advanced through the national territory.

State workers clear a street of the damage left by Julia. EFE.

The winds tore off the roofs of homes, felled trees, tore down power lines and left some coastal areas without power, while the rains caused flooding in some sectors, local authorities reported.

Agrometeorologist Agustín Moreira, from the Observatory of Natural Phenomena, pointed out that Julia hit as a category one hurricane, generating heavy rains in the areas of Karawala, Bluefields, and Punta Gorda.

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After the initial impact, the storm will moved through El Rama, Nueva Guinea, Muelle de los Bueyes, Morrito, Matagalpa, Boaco and Chontales.

Since Julia’s impact, communications between the Caribbean coast and the rest of Nicaragua have presented problems. Reports of Julia’s effects in the area are limited, as it is a region with multiple communities that remain isolated even in normal times.

By Sunday afternoon, after 15 hours of landfall, the weakened Julia left the country, leaving behind more than 5,000 homes damaged throughout the country and the death of at least two people after being swept away by the currents of the Esteli and San Dionisio (Matagalpa) rivers.

However, officially no human losses had been recorded as a result of the passage of Julia.

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Marcio Vaca, director of meteorology of the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER), explained that Julia, then a tropical storm, left Nicaragua through Corinto, Chinandega, towards the Pacific Ocean, keeping its travelling speed of 26 kilometers per hour.

“Already weakened, Julia moved parallel to the coasts of Chinandega and then headed towards the coasts of El Salvador and Honduras,” added Vaca.

Though Julia is long gone, a lot of moisture to the Pacific, South Central and Northern regions of Nicaragua, and with the introduction of moist air precipitations continued on Monday and possibly even today, Tuesday.

“The rains may not be significant, but the soils are saturated and these rains can be expected to become currents and flooding could be present,” Vaca added.

Another concern is the surges along the Pacific coast. The population to avoid getting close to the Pacific coastal area and to be careful with landslides that could be generated by the saturation of soils due to the constant rain.

The government declared a ‘red alert’ for the entire country, authorizing Civil Defense authorities and the Mayor’s Offices to take the necessary measures to attend the affected population.

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It also ordered the execution of emergency response plans in affected territories, to maintain permanent sessions and communication, to implement search and rescue operations, ready for tasks in contingency plans, and guarantee the availability of resources of public and private institutions to attend the emergency.

Vice-President Rosario Murillo said on Sunday night, that up to that moment “we have no deaths,” although, she specified that at the national level there were numerous damages, mentioning among these more than 2,000 houses destroyed and more than 3,000 damaged from flooding.

Guillermo Gonzalez, director of the National System for the Prevention, Mitigation and Attention of Disasters (SINAPRED), explained that together with different institutions they carried out a series of preparations that resulted in more than 600 shelters at the level of the impact zone. In addition to 900 “solidarity houses,” which allowed the mobilization of more than 13,000 people who lived in places of greater impact.

Gonzalez assured that most of the people who were sheltered during the passage of Julia, especially in the Caribbean of Nicaragua, have been returning to their homes as security conditions allow them to do so.

With reports from Havanatimes.org and Confidencial.digital.

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