Double blast! Hurricane Iota roared ashore as a dangerous Category 4 storm along almost exactly the same stretch of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast just 13 days after category 4 Hurricane Eta.
After intensifying into an extremely dangerous Category 5 storm on Monday, Iota finally weakened slightly before its landfall south of Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi) with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.
#Iota has made landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 #hurricane with max winds of 155 mph. Iota is now the strongest November hurricane on record to make landfall in Nicaragua, surpassing the previous record set by Eta (140 mph) just 13 days ago. pic.twitter.com/Qyek5o5Nm6— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) November 17, 2020
The sound of metal structures banging and buckling in the wind was similar to bullets. This is double destruction. This is coming in with fury.
Iota vs Eta landfalls
Iota came ashore just 15 miles south of where Hurricane Eta made landfall Nov. 3, also as a Category 4 storm.
Eta’s torrential rains saturated the soil in the region, leaving it prone to new deadly landslides and floods, forecasters warned.
13 days ago, #Eta became the strongest Atlantic #hurricane on record to make landfall in Nicaragua in November (Cat. 4, 140 mph winds). #Iota looks to smash that mark when it makes landfall in Nicaragua in a few hours. Iota is currently a Cat. 5 with 160 mph winds. pic.twitter.com/vWblCqDoqP— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) November 17, 2020
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.
Eta killed more than 130 people in the region as torrential rains caused flash floods and mudslides in parts of Central America and Mexico. And now crocodiles are invading streets of cities in the state of Tabasco.
A residents explains: “This hurricane is definitely worse than Eta. There are already a lot of houses that lost their roofs, fences and fruit trees that got knocked down. We will never forget this year.“
Forecasters warned that Iota’s storm surge could reach 15 to 20 feet above normal tides.
Another witness said: “The situation doesn’t look good at all. We woke up without electricity, with rain and the surf is getting really high.“
Moreover, many haven’t finished repairing houses and settling in when another hurricane comes. The shelters in Bilwi are already full, packed with people from (surrounding) communities.
Evacuations were conducted from low-lying areas in Nicaragua and Honduras near their shared border through the weekend.
Iota is the record 30th named storm of this year’s extraordinarily busy Atlantic hurricane season.
It’s also the ninth storm to rapidly intensify this season, a dangerous phenomenon that is happening increasingly more often.
Here’s how 2020 Atlantic #hurricane season ranks so far with other seasons in satellite era (since 1966) and with long-term average. Record-setting for named storms, 2nd for hurricanes & major hurricanes, 3rd for named storm days, 6th for Accumulated Cyclone Energy. #Iota pic.twitter.com/cjBlIIz5JP— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) November 17, 2020
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