Raging Hurricane Eta is forecast to make landfall on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua on Tuesday as heavy rains from the storm threaten to cause deadly flooding across Central America.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that as of 10 a.m. EST, the fully packed hurricane maintained winds of 145 mph, and was located about 30 miles south-southeast of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Eta is moving in a west-southwest direction at just 5 miles per hour.
“Extremely dangerous hurricane Eta continues to inch near the northeastern coast of Nicaragua,” said NHC.
HURRICANE ETA SENSES FAST ON MAJOR STORMS, WILL BE CATEGORY 4 BY LANDFALL
The hurricane is the second most powerful category 4 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson scale. Eta is not expected to lose any of its power until it moves inland.
“Catastrophic wind damage could occur when Eta’s windshield moves ashore within the storm warning zone within the next few hours, provided tropical storms have hit the area,” NHC said. , NHC said.
On the forecast line, Eta will make landfall along the Nicaragua coast on Tuesday. It will be a catastrophic storm for this area.
Eta will move further inland through northern Nicaragua until Wednesday morning and then through central Honduras on Thursday.
Once the storm hits land, rainfall is expected to decrease by 15 to 25 inches over much of Nicaragua and Honduras. Other areas of Central America can see rainfall more than 10 inches.
“This rainfall will lead to catastrophic, life-threatening flash floods, along with landslides in areas of higher terrain in Central America,” said NHC.
FORM OF TROPICAL ETA STORM, MULTIPLE TIES ON RECORDING; FORECAST BECOME A HAI
Earlier Tuesday, Guillermo González, director of emergency management Nicaragua, said during a press conference that when Eta started to land on land, there were reports of roofs made of metal. out of houses, trees, electric poles and power lines falling and rivers rising in the Coast.
So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported, he said.
As the storm approached, about 10,000 people had to take shelter in Bilwi city and an equal number took shelter in smaller towns in the area, he said. The area has been hit by strong winds and heavy rain for many hours.
The expected rainfall from Eta has been compared to Hurricane Mitch of 1998, one of the deadliest Atlantic storms in history. An archive report by the NHC states that Mitch resulted in the deaths of more than 9,000 people.
Eta tripled in strength in about 24 hours, rapidly intensifying from a 40 mph tropical storm on Sunday morning to a 120 mph hurricane around midday Monday, and continued to have strength throughout the day.
The remains of Eta will have to be tracked as it is expected to reappear in the Caribbean within the next few days.
Eta is currently the eighth Atlantic hurricane this season to reach meteorologists’ definition of intensity rapidly. It is also the 28th Atlantic storm to be named this season, marking a 2005 record for named storms.
There is only one month left until the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends November 30, but this season broke many records as forecasters in September ran out of traditional names and switched to the Hy alphabet. Hurricanes Alpha and Beta.
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NOAA forecasters have called for up to 25 named storms this season with winds of 39 miles per hour or more; Among them, seven to 10 could become storms. Of those hurricanes, three to six would be massive, classified as Class 3, 4 and 5 with winds of 111 miles per hour or more.
That is much more than an average year. Based on data from 1981 to 2010, there are 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. So far this year, there have been 28 named storms, including 12 storms and five of them major.
The last time the Greek alphabet was used in the Atlantic was in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina. For a total of 28 storms during that year, the first six letters of the Greek alphabet were used: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta.
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Fox News’s Janice Dean, Brandon Noriega and Associated Press contributed to this report.