Dhe severe storm “Iota” killed at least 15 people in Central America and Colombia. This is evident from the first figures from the authorities in several countries. With at least ten fatalities, the number was highest in Nicaragua. There, “Iota” hit land on Monday evening (local time) as a category four hurricane – with sustained wind speeds of 250 kilometers per hour just below the limit of a storm of the highest level. As a result, he moved on through Honduras and weakened more and more. On Wednesday it was still a low pressure area.
Pictures showed torrential floods, streets and residential areas under very high water as well as broken bridges. Media reported on power outages and numerous places cut off from the outside world.
The number of victims is likely to rise as many areas were initially inaccessible due to floods, power outages and other storm damage. According to official information, 28 bridges were damaged in Nicaragua. According to the government, at least four people, including three children, were killed in a landslide on a mountain in the west of the country. Seven people were missing. More than 60,000 people were reportedly in emergency shelters in Nicaragua.
The storm hit a region that had not yet recovered from the aftermath of “Eta,” which had hit land just under two weeks earlier as a level four hurricane in Nicaragua. At least 174 people died, 74 of them in Honduras and 46 in Guatemala. Almost 100 residents of a village in Guatemala that was buried were still missing. Thousands of families lost their homes, and according to the World Vision children’s aid organization, 1.5 million people urgently needed humanitarian aid even before Iota arrived.
“Iota” was the 30th storm this year that was strong enough to get a name – the previous record was 28 a year. So many strong storms have formed this year’s season that the 21 designated names have long been used up. For this reason, meteorologists used the Greek alphabet for the first time in 15 years. There were also an unusually high number of strong storms towards the end of the season, which lasts from June to November. According to experts, the increasing intensity of tropical cyclones is a consequence of climate change.