‘Iota’ rises to category 5 and leaves one dead during its destructive passage through the Colombian Caribbean

After being held incommunicado for 12 hours due to the passage of hurricane ‘Iota’, which reached category 5 this Monday, the local authorities of the Colombian island of Providencia, located in the Caribbean, have been able to report that at least one person has died and 98 percent of the island’s infrastructure has been affected.

This has been confirmed by the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, who pointed out that the country “had never faced a category 5 hurricane” and explained that “they are removing obstructions on the main roads and cleaning the runway at the El airport. Charm to get there (Providencia island) “.

The National Hurricane Center of the United States (NHC, for its acronym in English) communicated, in the early hours of this Monday, that ‘Iota’ had reached category 5, with maximum sustained winds of 260 kilometers per hour, and that it could be “catastrophic” as it passed through Central America.

“This is a life-threatening situation, please heed the advice of local officials,” the NHC has requested through its Twitter account.

‘Iota’ is the 31st tropical depression so far this year, and according to NHC forecasts it will leave “catastrophic winds, waves of life-threatening storms and torrential rains in Central America”, being Nicaragua the first country in which it will touch down.

Central American countries are still recovering from the passage of ‘Eta’, a category 4 hurricane, responsible for dozens of deaths in Nicaragua, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as in other countries such as El Salvador, Panama and Mexico, and which has left behind it a trail of destruction, including infrastructure and farmland, as a result of heavy rains, winds, floods and landslides.

Nicaragua has issued a red alert in its northeast and northwest areas, where the greatest effects of the storm are expected, which will make landfall on Monday at the last minute. The National System for the Prevention, Mitigation and Attention of Disasters (SINAPRED) estimates that some 80,000 families are affected, with 629 points in danger from floods, according to local media.

In Honduras, the Permanent Committee on Contingencies (Copeco) has already anticipated that there will be intermittent rains in much of the Caribbean coast and in other areas close to the route that ‘Iota’ will follow. The situation in the Sula valley, which was greatly affected by the ‘Eta’ pass, is of concern.

The concern also extends to Panama, where the director general of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), Carlos Rumbo, has warned this Monday of the possibility that the country suffers collateral effects of the new hurricane and has urged citizens to take extreme caution.

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