Hurricane Iota Rages Through Central America and Colombia
The new hurricane hit just two weeks after the region dealt with Hurricane Eta.
On Tuesday, Hurricane Iota hit Central America while the region is still recovering from the Category 4 storm Hurricane Eta. Iota is the second major hurricane to hit the area this month; it made landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. Mudslides, flooding, and storm surges are expected across the region.
One person was killed on the Colombian island of Providencia when the hurricane struck the area as a Category 5 storm before weakening. Colombian President Iván Duque said the island had sustained severe material damage that affected 98 percent of its infrastructure. He arrived at the nearby island of San Andrés on Tuesday morning after flying over Providencia to assess the damage. "Today Colombia is united to address this calamity," Duque said at a news conference on Monday night. "Never in the history of our country have we faced a Category 5 hurricane." Duque also said ships from the Colombian navy were anchored off the coast of Providencia and waiting for weather conditions to improve so they could move in and deliver aid to the island.
By late afternoon on Tuesday, Iota will move into southern Honduras but should dissipate by Wednesday night. Iota is the 13th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which has so far resulted in 30 named storms — the most ever. The National Hurricane Center also said that this is the latest in the year there has ever been a Category 5 storm in the Atlantic Basin. Scientists have not agreed that climate change is causing more hurricanes, but they do believe that it has altered the way the storms behave and has made them more destructive.