Forecasters say Tropical Storm Eta is moving slowly inland, bringing heavy rains that are producing life-threatening flash floods in parts of Central America.
At last report Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said the center of the storm was about 95 kilometers west of the coastal Nicaraguan city of Puerto Cabezas and moving west at about 13 kilometers per hour. It had maximum sustained winds of about 60 kph.
Eta came ashore late Tuesday as a category 2 hurricane after hovering just off the coast of Nicaragua longer than forecasters expected. The Associated Press reports even before it made landfall, heavy rains were responsible for landslides that killed three people.
Nicaraguan officials say Eta uprooted trees and damaged buildings as it moved inland.
Forecasters expect it to move over northern Nicaragua, and then move across central Honduras through Thursday morning, carrying heavy rains that are likely to create more landslides in higher terrain, along with flash flooding and river flooding.
While Eta is expected to weaken as it moves to the west, the system is forecast to emerge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Friday. Some models suggest it will re-strengthen and head towards Florida in the southeastern United States.