Eta heads to Honduras, turned into a tropical storm

Eta weakened to a tropical storm on Wednesday, generating flooding, landslides, damage to houses and isolation of remote communities in Nicaragua, after passing through the Caribbean coast of that nation.

The phenomenon that reached category 4, left at least three people dead and dozens of fishermen stranded in the Atlantic.

At 9am Wednesday the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that the storm was located 215 kilometers (135 miles) northeast of Managua. It had winds of 85 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour) and was moving west at 11 kph (7 mph).

Meteorologists predict that storm will rotate in Central America and re-form in the Caribbean, possibly reaching Cuba on Sunday and Florida on Monday.

“On the forecast trajectory, the center of Eta is expected to move over northern Nicaragua until early this afternoon and then move, through central parts of Honduras, until Thursday morning. The system is forecast to emerge over the Gulf of Honduras or the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Thursday night and Friday, ”the NHC said.

As reported by the National System for the Prevention, Mitigation and Attention of Disasters (Sinapred) from Nicaragua, Eta made landfall on Tuesday afternoon south of Bilwi, after stopping near the shore for hours.

Corrugated metal roofs, trees uprooted and some 60,000 residents without power since Monday night, were among the consequences. Still, Vice President Rosario Murillo said the initial damage was less than feared.

Local authorities reported that around 30,000 families were evacuated. Inland, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of where Eta made landfall, two miners were killed by tons of mud sliding down a hillside Tuesday morning. A third miner escaped the avalanche and sought help, as reported AP.

Since Sunday, the rains have also affected Honduras; where a 12-year-old girl was killed by a landslide in San Pedro Sula, in the north of the country, said Marvin Aparicio, of the emergency management agency.

The agency also indicated that 25 people were rescued and at least 559 had to move to shelters or family homes.

On Tuesday, about 60 fishermen were trapped in their boats at sea in the eastern Mosquitia region of Honduras, according to reports. Reuters, citing Robin Morales, representative of the local community.

The Center has warned that the Eta rains could generate heavy rains in Jamaica, Guatemala and southern Belize.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Odalys continues to advance across the ocean, but does not pose a threat.

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