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Category 4 Hurricane Iota makes landfall in Nicaragua

Central America — still recovering from Eta — faces new threat from powerful Hurricane Iota
Posted at 8:38 AM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 23:27:21-05

Hurricane Iota made landfall late Monday as a strong Category 4 hurricane with top sustained winds of 155 mph. The power hurricane was downgraded to Category 4 status just moments before landfall after spending most of the day as a Category 5.

According to the National Hurricane Center, heavy rainfall will "likely lead to life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding" throughout Central America. Iota will also bring the threat of life-threatening mudslides to Nicaragua.

Central America is still recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Eta, which killed about 120 people in the region just two weeks ago. Eta made landfall with 105 mph winds, and heavy rain triggered mudslides in Nicaragua that killed dozens.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the center of Iota made landfall just 15 miles from the spot where the center of Hurricane Eta came ashore. Hurricane-force winds from Iota extend 45 miles from its center.

The closest major town, Puerto Cabezas, is located 30 miles from where Iota made landfall. According to the New York Times, nearly one-third of the city's population was forced into shelters following Hurricane Eta.