Hurricane Iota quickly intensified on Monday into a Category 5 storm with potentially catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already struck by powerful Hurricane ETA less than two weeks ago
Iota activity intensified over the western Caribbean when approaching Nicaragua and Honduras. Air Force hurricane hunters flew into the heart of Iota and measured maximum sustained winds of 160 mph (260 km / h), the National Hurricane Center said they were centered about a distance 100 miles (160 km) from east to southeast from Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua and moving west at 9 mph (15 km / h)
Authorities have warned that Iota Island will likely reach shore over areas where torrential rains have inundated the soil, making it vulnerable to landslides and new floods, and that the storm could reach a sudden height of 12 to 18 feet (3) 6 to 55 meters Above normal tides
Evacuations were conducted from low-lying areas in Nicaragua and Honduras near their common border, which appeared to be possibly Iota Island and already felt the wind and rain off the coast of Nicaragua on Sunday night
Iota turned into a hurricane early Sunday and gained strength at a speed that was expected to pass through or near the Colombian island of Providencia during the night, and the National Hurricane Center warned that it was likely to reach mainland Central America in the night. Late Monday
The Hurricane Center said Iota was stationed about 20 miles (35 km) off the island of Isla de Providencia, Colombia, and 145 miles (235 km) southeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the borders of Nicaragua and Honduras, moving west at 10 miles Per hour (17 km / h)
The storm is the 30th storm recorded in the exceptionally busy Atlantic hurricane season this year It is also the ninth storm to intensify rapidly this season, a dangerous phenomenon that occurs increasingly often This activity has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say It causes wetter, stronger and more destructive storms.
All Honduras was on high alert, with forced evacuations beginning before the end of the week and by Sunday evening, 63,500 people were reported to be in 379 shelters in the northern coastal region.
Nicaraguan officials said that by late Sunday afternoon, about 1,500 people, nearly half of them children, had been evacuated from low-lying areas in the northeast, including all residents of Cayo Miskitos, and authorities said 83,000 people were in those areas. The region is at risk
The feeling of wind and rain began on Sunday night in Beloy, a coastal city in Nicaragua where people were crowded with markets and hardware stores during the day in search of plastic sheeting, nails and other materials to reinforce their homes, just as they did when Hurricane ETA struck in November 3
Several Belloy residents expressed concern that their homes would not withstand Iota, shortly after ETA, local TV showed footage of people being evacuated in wooden boats carrying young children as well as dogs and chickens.
ETA has already caused havoc Â it struck Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane, killing at least 120 people as torrential rains triggered floods and mudslides in parts of Central America and Mexico and then wandered through Cuba, the Florida Keys and around the Gulf of Mexico Before sneaking ashore again near Cedar Key, Florida, and moving through Florida and Carolina
In the Iota region, rainfall was expected from 8 to 16 inches (200-400 mm) in northern Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and southern Belize, with up to 30 inches (750 mm) in isolated areas, the Hurricane Center said Costa Rica and Panama You may also experience heavy rain and potential flooding
ETA was the 28th storm of the year, equaling the 2005 record. Theta remnants, 29th, dissipated Sunday in the eastern Atlantic.
Over the past two decades, meteorologists have been more concerned about storms like IOTA running much faster than normal They have created an official threshold for this rapid intensification – a storm that gains 35 mph (56 km / h) at wind speeds at 24 Just an hour Iota doubled it
Earlier this year, Hanna, Laura, Sally, Teddy, Gamma, Delta, Zeta, and Iota all increased in intensity quickly linked Laura and Delta or set records for rapid condensation
Climate and hurricane scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studied the impact and found that “a lot of that has to do with human-induced climate change”
This is the first time that the Atlantic has been recorded to have experienced two major hurricanes, with winds exceeding 110 mph (177 km / h) in November, with Iota and ETA, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach when winds reached Iota Maximums to 155 mph (250 km / h), tied with Lenny in 1999 for the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic at the end of this calendar year.
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World News – US – Hurricane Iota is now a Category 5 storm near Central America