- BBC World News
This Friday, the governments of Honduras and Nicaragua began to take precautions to limit the damage that tropical storm Iota may cause.
On the planned trajectory, Iota will move through the center of the Caribbean Sea during the next two days and will approach the coasts of Nicaragua and northeast Honduras between Sunday afternoon and Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC , in English) from the United States.
In Honduras, for example, the evacuation of much of the coastal zone was ordered —for the second time in less than a month— after the formation of a new depression was announced (the 30th of the season in the Atlantic), which was called Iota.
Meteorologists noted that this tropical storm is expected to become a “great hurricane” once it reaches land, which is expected to occur this Sunday.
At its peak, Iota is expected to reach winds of 193 km / h, bringing torrential rains and rising sea levels off the coast.
All this is happening as the inhabitants of these two countries recover from the blow of Hurricane Eta, which killed 200 people in early November.
The most affected region was the central area of Guatemala known as Alta Verapaz, where strong winds and rains caused landslides that buried dozens of houses in the town of Quejá. about 70 kilometers from Guatemala City.
At least 50 people were reported missing.
The NHC also warned that “the floods and landslides that can occur in Nicaragua and Honduras may worsen the situation in these countries after the passage of Eta.”
In addition, the NHC noted that areas of Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize and Colombia must also be prepared for the effects of Iota.
“These areas could be at risk of flooding,” the observatory said.
Other areas such as the coasts of Jamaica could be affected by rising sea levels.
For that reason, the Honduran government ordered the evacuation of the coastal areas in the San Pedro Sula area, the second largest city in the country.
“Our red alert in the country orders mandatory evacuations,” Julissa Mercado, of the Honduras Emergency Response Agency, told AFP.
Meanwhile, Guatemala’s emergency care officials have urged residents in the north of the country to voluntarily evacuate temporary shelters.
“Our soil is already saturated, so we are expected to have more damage to agriculture and infrastructure,” said President Alejandro Giammattei.
Iota will be the 30th tropical storm of the hurricane season in Central America and the Caribbean, which is a record in the years that are recorded.
Giammattei pointed out that the cause of the increase in hurricanes and intensity is due to climate change, which, according to him, was caused by the most industrialized nations.
“Central America is one of the regions where climate change is most felt“he told reporters after meeting with his Honduran counterpart, Juan Orlando Hernández, in Guatemala City.
The region is affected by “catastrophic floods, extreme droughts and the greatest poverty,” but nevertheless receives “the least aid from these industrialized nations,” he said.
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