Fast-growing hurricane threatens to flood Central America
Updated: Nov 21, 2020
2nd November 2020
Geo satellite image of Hurricane Eta In the Gulf Of Mexico (Source- Edited and provided by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
As 'Hurricane Eta' swiftly erupts into a possibly destructive major hurricane on Monday, forecasters warned of massive flooding and landslides in the vulnerable regions of Central America. Hurricane Eta had a high sustained wind of one hundred and thirty miles per hour and was about seventy miles east of the Nicaragua-Honduras border in the late afternoon, said the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It was moving west at nine miles per hour (fifteen-kilometres per hour).
The centre also said that 'Eta' was likely to intensify more and could cross 'Category 5' before running ashore in Nicaragua by early Tuesday, where it could carry rains measured in feet rather than inches.
Forecasters said that central and northern Nicaragua could exceed fifteen to twenty-five inches of rain in most parts of Honduras, with thirty-five inches in isolated areas. Heavy rains are also expected to occur in eastern Guatemala, southern Belize, and Jamaica. On the coast of Nicaragua, the storm surges up to fifteen feet (4.5 meters), above-average tides are likely.
Under the low grey sky in open boats, families, mostly women and children, were rescued by the Nicaragua navy force with the possessions they could carry from outer islands to the mainland. Any boats launching along the stretch of the coastline that expected to receive the hurricane Eta were prohibited.
According to Guillermo González, director of Nicaragua's national emergency management agency, Offshore residents were taken to shelters in Bilwi, also known as Puerto Cabezas, the primary city of the Northern Caribbean Autonomous Region that is home to some sixty-six thousand people.
Sparsely settled, Northeastern Nicaragua is home to remote coastal villages and a large nature reserve. Gonzalez said that there were eighty-eight tons of rice, oil, corn, and other essential foodstuffs in the region. The flood-prone 'Rio Coco', which forms part of the border with 'Honduras', is home to many indigenous peoples.
'Limborth Bucardo', who waited in line at a hardware store, said, "We're in a race against time." "We need to reinforce our houses to dampen the impact of the winds a little," Bucardo added. On Monday morning, traffic flooded the streets of Bilwi as residents rushed before Eta's arrival to stock up. Long queues were snaking away from the cash machines. There was a high demand for heavy black plastic, garbage cans, nails, and wire.
Eta's outer limits of expected possible rainfall were similar to the prodigious volumes of water released by 'Hurricane Mitch, which occurred in the year 1998,' one of the most destructive Atlantic storms in history. Most of the country was placed on red alert in Honduras for Eta's imminent passage across the country. In some places, it had been raining since Sunday.
(Sources- AJC, PHYS.ORG, WWAYTV3, USNEW)
Edited by- Arjun Rohit Vikraman