PUERTO CABEZAS, Nicaragua – The situation was all too familiar to Marina Rodríguez: a devastating hurricane impacting the mosquito coast in record-setting Atlantic hurricane season.
The previous storm, Hurricane Eta, narrowly washed her home two weeks ago, said Ms. Rodriguez, 47, whose children were helping to build a temporary shelter on Sunday.
As Hurricane Iota intensifies and nears the coastline of Nicaragua and Honduras, it appears that there will be no grief for Ms. Rodriguez and many other weary residents of the area.
The storm was expected to pack maximum winds in excess of 130 mph by Monday night, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
“I’m afraid of sea level,” Ms. Rodriguez said. “You can see the water coming up and down every minute, so I think we have to evacuate.”
En route to Hurricane Etawah, which were upgraded to Category 2 hurricanes on Sunday, they were not the only ones to compare to Hurricane Etah.
“It is terrible that it is similar to wind speed and also in the same area that Eta hit,” said Denis Feltgen, spokesman and meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Etawah, named after the Atlantic hurricane’s 30th hurricane, was expected to strengthen rapidly, according to a Advisor Released by Storm Center at 10 pm Sunday. At the time, it was about 235 miles east-southeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicobagua-Honduras border, and was moving west at a speed of 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.
The impact of the storm would be felt “before the center makes landfall,” Mr. Feltgen said.
The devastating winds can affect parts of the Nicaragua-Honduras coast, along with the fatal rise in water levels. Heavy rains are expected through Friday in parts of Central America and high-altitude areas may experience intense flooding and torrential rainfall.
According to the storm center, 20 to 30 inches of rain may occur in some areas on Friday, stating that there was a possibility of a weakening of the storm in the hilly areas.
Forecasters warned that damage from Hurricane Iota could reduce the devastation caused by Hurricane Eta in Central America.
More than 60 deaths were confirmed From Hurricane Eta all over Central America. In Guatemala, rescuers feared that more than 100 people had died in the village of Queza after the storm cut off part of a mountain slope.
Many people in the area became homeless after several structures were damaged or destroyed. “Shelter is going to be a problem,” Mr. Feltgen said.
Dozens of indigenous communities in Nicaragua and Honduras were evacuated since Saturday night. In Puerto Cabezas, families were sleeping among the debris left by the previous storm.
Nowhere in the country, it was immediately clear how many people had been moved to shelters, but photographs taken by residents showed hundreds of people being evacuated to Cabo Gracias a Dias and other remote villages.
A father of three, Sadam Vinicius decided to stay with his family at his home near the coast. Fearing to lose his roof, he tried to protect it from damage by tying it with ropes used for his work as a fisherman. “We have not yet received any assistance from the government,” Mr. Vinicius said. “I’m afraid of losing my roof.”
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which is scheduled to end on November 30, saw 30 hurricanes and 13 hurricanes. Meteorologists have exhausted the 21-name list used in each season, from the Greek alphabet to the name systems. The last time the Greek alphabet was used was in 2005, which saw 28 storms that were named.
Alphonso Flores Bermudez reported from Puerto Cabezas and Alison Waller and Neil Wiggor from New York.