Hurricane Eta nears Category 5 strength, expected to bring catastrophic damage to Nicaragua



From 7 p.m. Sunday to 7 p.m. Monday, Eta’s wind pace greater than doubled. As of 10 p.m. EST Monday night time, the storm was about 45 miles from Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, with sustained winds of 150 mph.

The sluggish shifting and quickly intensifying storm, the most recent in an active Atlantic hurricane season, has the bottom strain of any storm on this season — an indication of its power, in accordance to CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin. As the 28th named storm, it ties the report for the variety of named storms in a single season set again in 2005.
“Eta has become an impressive November hurricane as it continues to undergo rapid strengthening,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) mentioned Monday afternoon.

And earlier than making landfall in Nicaragua Tuesday morning, the NHC mentioned Eta is probably going to strengthen right into a Category 5.

The area is expected to stand up to catastrophic and life-threatening situations — together with flooding, landslides and practically three toes of rain in parts of Central America — via the week earlier than the remnants of Hurricane Eta transfer again into the Caribbean, Mauldin mentioned.

Conditions deteriorating alongside the coast

If Eta does attain Category 5, will probably be solely the second Atlantic hurricane of that power in November on report. It can even be the primary Category 5 to hit Nicaragua since Felix in 2007.

Conditions have been already deteriorating Monday night time alongside the northeast coast of Nicaragua, and can worsen because the storm reaches land. The storm has the potential to be one of many worst flooding occasions Nicaragua has seen since Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which killed greater than 10,000 folks.

As Eta’s eyewall strikes on shore, the storm will ship “catastrophic wind damage,” in addition to ship heavy rainfall with estimates of 15 to 25 inches, and remoted quantities up to 35 inches in Nicaragua and Honduras, the NHC mentioned.

Life-threatening storm surge alongside the Nicaraguan shoreline is expected to be up to 21 toes above regular tide. Extremely robust winds will influence areas from the coast in the direction of the mountains.

The wind and storm surge menace will diminish all through Tuesday, however the rain will final nicely into the week.

Heavy rain will unfold all through Central America, the place areas from southeast Mexico down via Panama may see rain accumulations up to 25 inches.

“This rainfall would lead to catastrophic, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding, along with landslides in areas of higher terrain of Central America,” the NHC mentioned. “Flash flooding and river flooding would be possible across Jamaica, southeast Mexico, El Salvador, southern Haiti, and the Cayman Islands.”

The present forecast has the storm meandering the mountains of Nicaragua and Honduras earlier than heading north towards Belize as a despair by Friday. The monitor and depth of the storm stays unsure after Friday and might be carefully monitored.

CNN’s Hollie Silverman and Judson Jones contributed to this report.



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