‘Catastrophic’ category 5 hurricane Iota hits Nicaragua just 2 weeks after region was devastated by tropical storm (VIDEOS)
The hurricane has made landfall near the town of Puerto Cabezas in northeastern Nicaragua as category 4 with winds of 155mph. It then quickly intensified and was upgraded to "catastrophic" category 5.
The National Hurricane Center in Florida warned that Iota’s "extreme storm surge" could produce a life-threatening impact with "destructive winds and potentially 30 inches of rainfall."
Videos on the ground show powerful gusts of winds crushing palm trees as torrential rains flooded buildings.
Hurricane Iota hits Nicaragua with category 5.(RadioManatiRCDN) pic.twitter.com/kJYG1LEQxP— Global Climate Connection (@juliusmarcus77) November 16, 2020
Reports by local media said that strong winds tore the roof off a hospital in Puerto Cabeza and did the same with corrugated metal sheets on houses.
#Nicaragua#ÚLTIMAHORA: Evacúan el hospital provisional que estaba operando en el Tecnológico, Inatec, en la ciudad de Bilwi tras sufrir afectaciones por el huracán #Iota EN VIVO: https://t.co/3rS4sEDJWHpic.twitter.com/mHVlOTfSdC— TN8 Nicaragua (@canaltn8) November 17, 2020
Evacuations were conducted in Nicaragua and neighboring Honduras. The Nicaraguan military posted photos of its soldiers distributing aid and helping with the evacuations.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Nicaragua is still reeling from the widespread destruction brought by category 4 Hurricane Eta, which ripped through Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras just two weeks ago, killing more than 170 people across the region and leaving many homeless.
Iota came ashore just 15 miles south of where Eta arrived on November 3, and is expected to cause even more damage than its predecessor.
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