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Hurricane Iota Intensifies While Approaching Central America

Hurricane Iota Intensifies While Approaching Central America

Hurricane Iota was upgraded to a Category 5 Hurricane, the most intense on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and is expected to make landfall on Nicaragua Monday night. Iota underwent explosive strengthening over the past 24 hours and had measured winds over 160 mph, making it the strongest hurricane of the 2020 season.

Hurricane Iota is expected to generate a 20 foot storm surge, devastating wind gusts, and excessive rainfall to a region that was battered by Hurricane Eta just 2 weeks ago.

Honduras, northern Nicaragua, southeast Guatemala and southern Belize may pick up 10 to 20 inches, with isolated totals up to 30 inches. Areas from northeast Nicaragua into northern Honduras could see the heaviest totals.

Central America is still facing a humanitarian crisis following Eta’s deadly blow. Millions are enduring dangerous conditions in the storm’s wake — with concerns over waterborne diseases and COVID-19 complicating recovery. The situation is likely to become even more dire as Iota approaches the coast and moves inland.

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