The remnants of Hurricane Iota moved into El Salvador Wednesday, as the storm continues to pound Nicaragua with strong winds and heavy rains even after weakening from a hurricane to a tropical storm.
At last report, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said the system was moving to the west of the city of San Salvador and was now a tropical depression. But the remnants of the most powerful storm ever to hit Nicaragua in the month of November are still likely to produce rainfall capable of mudslides and flash floods across portions of Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala through Thursday.
The storm came ashore late Monday on the northeastern coast of Nicaragua, just kilometers from where Hurricane Eta had struck two weeks earlier. At its strongest, Iota was a Category 5 storm -- the top level on the five-level scale that measures a storm’s potential destructiveness.
It left scores of communities cut off from the outside world and forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes.
At least nine people across the region have been killed, including two children who reportedly drowned while trying to cross a flooded river in Nicaragua.
Iota was the 30th named storm of the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which, according to the U.S. National Weather Service, is due to end November 30. Forecasters are now watching two systems – one in the southern Caribbean and another just south of Bermuda - which each have a 20 percent chance of becoming named storms in the next five days.