Hurricane Eta Kills at Least 1, Expected to Move Towards Florida by Monday

Hurricane Eta hit much of Central America with 140 mph winds
Photo by ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty Images

The "life-threatening" Hurricane Eta has swept across Nicaragua, leaving at least one dead, as it travels towards the southeast of the United States, according to reports. The storm hit the coast of Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane Tuesday afternoon –– resulting in more than 30,000 evacuees and hitting most of Central America with widespread flooding rains, CNN reported.

Eta, the 28th named storm of the season, has reportedly brought winds at fast as 140 mph once it reached landfall, but by Wednesday evening the storm weakened to a depression status with 35 mph winds, CBS News reported. 

Still, more damage is to come. 

"Catastrophic, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding, along with landslides" over parts of Central America are expected to continue in the coming days, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday.

It will be days before residents can survey the impact of the storm, CNN reported.

The storm is expected to reappear over the Caribbean Sea by the end of the week and is anticipated to move over Cuba by Sunday. By the start of next week, the storm could reach U.S. soil, particularly parts of Florida, which is in the storm's forecast cone, the outlet reported.

Once Eta hits the water again, it is expected to strengthen, although the magnitude of intensity is uncertain, according to Michael Guy, a CNN meteorologist.

Eta has become very "disorganized" after interacting with the mountainous terrain of Central America, Weather Channel said.

At least 17 shelters were opened in Puerto Cabezas, a Nicaraguan city of more than 60,000, to provide housing for those who fled, the Washington Post reported. Two municipalities in the country, Bilwi and Waspam, were cut off from the rest of the country by land because of flooding from the Wawa River. 

In Honduras, bridges have collapsed preventing access to communities in Colon Atlantida, Yoro and Olancho, the outlet reported.

There were even some communities 100 miles inland that were unaware of the storm until it reached them.


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