Tropical Storm Iota entered Honduras on Tuesday after killing at least nine people and causing massive damage in Central America. Nicaragua, where thousands of people are isolated, without clean water or electricity, has been particularly affected.
The torrential rains poured out by the hurricane-turned-storm devastate regions of Central America already devastated two weeks ago by a previous hurricane, Eta. Iota killed at least six people in Nicaragua, including two children, one in Panama and two others in a Colombian archipelago.
The tropical storm entered Honduras in the Paraiso department in the east of the country. It could reach El Salvador on Wednesday morning, the Honduran civil protection chief meteorologist said. The government of Honduras has closed the country’s main roads until Wednesday, due to the high risk of flash flooding rivers.
After amassing energy in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, Iota made landfall in Nicaragua on Monday as a Category 5 hurricane, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale. It then brought strong winds sometimes reaching 260 kilometers per hour, according to the American center for hurricane monitoring, the NHC, based in Miami (Florida).
The NHC has warned that flooding and flash floods posing a serious threat to people in parts of Central America will continue until Thursday due to torrential rains brought by Iota.
Many regions had already been hit and weakened by Eta, which made landfall on November 3rd in Nicaragua as a category 4 hurricane and killed at least 200 and affected 2.5 million people.
Warming seas caused by climate change make hurricanes stronger longer after they make landfall, scientists say. A record 30 tropical storms have been recorded this season in the Caribbean, Central America and the southeastern United States.