Hurricane Iota made landfall along the northeastern coast of Nicaragua late Monday night and flash flooding and landslides are expected across Central America.
The National Hurricane Center said Iota struck Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm, with winds of 210 kilometers per hour. Many people hunkered down in shelters while the Nicaraguan government evacuated thousands of residents in low lying coastal areas ahead of the storm.
One resident in the seaside town of Bilwi, business owner Business owner Adán Artola Schultz, described the sound of metal structures banging and buckling in the wind as “like bullets” to the Associated Press. Jason Bermúdez, a university student from Bilwi, told AP a lot of houses have lost their roofs, fences and fruit trees that got knocked down. Bermúdez said “(W)e will never forget this year.”
“The situation is exacerbated by the fact that Iota is making landfall in almost the exact same location that category 4 Hurricane Eta did a little less than two weeks ago,” the Hurricane Center said in a statement.
Iota came ashore south of where Hurricane Eta made landfall Nov. 3, also as a Category 4 storm.
Hurricane Eta killed more than 130 people as the heavy rains caused flash flooding and landslides over parts of Central America.