Iota strengthened into a “catastrophic” Category 5 hurricane, the highest level, and was set to slam into Central America late Monday. It moved westward over the Caribbean towards the Nicaragua-Honduras border. Hurricane Iota will “bring catastrophic wind, life-threatening storm surge and torrential rainfall,” the NHC warned. It’s about winds of 160 miles (260 kilometers) per hour. If Iota makes landfall at Category 5 intensity, it would join only 18 other hurricanes that have done so in the Atlantic Basin since 1924. Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua announced evacuations last week. The region was previously devastated by Eta. „Some of us have old little houses and we risk losing everything,” many of them told media. There has never been a repeat hurricane in such a short time.
Authorities on Friday sent boats to evacuate the community in Cabo Gracias a Dios, where the Coco River flows into the Caribbean along the “Mosquito Coast.” Warmer seas caused by climate change are making hurricanes stronger for longer after landfall, scientists say. Iota is“exceptionally dangerous.” It will also provoke changes to the intertropical convergence zone over Costa Rica. Rains and heavy showers in all regions of the Pacific are expected on Monday afternoon.