Hurricane Iota Causes Major Landfall in Nicaragua


Patrick Heydasch

Recently, Nicaragua was hit by Category Five hurricane Iota. Those in the storm’s range have been left without homes, food and water.

Patrick Heydasch, Staff Writer

The recently named storm Iota has hit Nicaragua as a Category Five hurricane. Iota formed as a tropical wave that slowly moved into Central America. Over the next six days, Iota quickly strengthened into a Category Five hurricane and became the strongest hurricane of this year to make landfall on Nicaragua.

Just two weeks ago, a Category Four hurricane named Eta made landfall near Nicaragua. This, in turn, has caused Iota to deal even heavier damage as the people of Nicaragua are still recovering from the previous powerful hurricane.

More than 40,000 people have already been evacuated from their homes and put into government shelters in preparation for Iota. Reports state that over 400,000 people were affected by the storm and no deaths have been reported yet, however, there is no communication with the Nicaraguan cities as there is no electricity.

On Tuesday morning, Iota’s wind speed decreased to 130 miles per hour and is expected to produce 30 inches of rain until Nov. 18. Multiple flash flood warnings have been issued with mudslides mostly occurring. Iota is also expected to raise the water levels as much as fifteen to twenty feet above the regular tide levels.

In a Nicaraguan city named Puerto Cabezas, houses that were built using wood, nails and zinc sheets have been destroyed, leaving families to sleep on the rubble and destruction caused by Iota.

“I think that hurricane Iota is extremely devastating, to say the least. Thousands of families are suffering,” sophomore Carlos Rocha said.

In Colombia, at least two people ages eleven and eight have drowned and many locals have been left stranded or have gone missing. Heavy flooding has been the biggest issue since Iota passed through the country.

In Honduras, Mirna Wood is vice president of the Miskito group, which deals with the ethics and protection of the Miskito people. Wood was in Nicaragua before the hurricane hit, collecting donations after hurricane Eta’s landfall. She warned the mayor of the community of Villeda Morales that Iota would hit and citizens would have to evacuate and prepare. “We are facing an incredible emergency, there is no food and water,” said Wood before the hurricane hit. Hurricane Iota added to the ultimate destruction Eta caused beforehand.

“These countries being hit by multiple hurricanes in a row is absolutely horrific and sad, leaders should send aid to them as soon as possible,” sophomore Luis Tobar said.

After making landfall, Iota has been weakened and classified as a tropical storm, however, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding is expected until Thursday across Central America due to the rainfall from Iota. Strong winds have also been forecasted as Iota slowly passes through Central America. In Florida, hurricane Iota only passed by, which caused heavy rainfall.

A few small relief funds have been started, however, they do not belong to well-known charity or relief groups. These groups plan to provide the relief needed for those who have lost their homes and have no food or water.

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