Hurricane Eta is expected to cause life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds, flash flooding and landslides when it makes landfall in Central America early Tuesday.
“Eta has rapidly intensified to a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the United States reported Monday morning. “Continued strengthening is expected before it makes landfall along the northeastern coast of Nicaragua on Tuesday.”
The NHC says the northeastern coast of Nicaragua will bear the most direct damage from the cyclone. However, the storm may bring heavy rainfall across much of Central America, including:
- Up to 20 inches of rain in parts of Guatemala and Belize.
- 15 inches of rain in parts of Costa Rica and Panama, and up to 25 inches in some areas.
- Up to 35 inches of rain in Nicaragua and Honduras.
“This rainfall would lead to catastrophic, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding, along with landslides in areas of higher terrain of Central America,” the NHC says.
Parts of Costa Rica have up to a 20% chance of experiencing sustained tropical storm-force winds, per the NHC.
#IMN_imagenes (12:30 pm) Secuencia de imagenes en el canal visible muestra al huracán Eta el cual se ha intensificado rápidamente en las últimas horas y tiene actualmente categoría 3. pic.twitter.com/lJeUBZBdVc
— IMN, Costa Rica (@IMNCR) November 2, 2020
The National Emergency Commission (CNE) of Costa Rica said Monday morning that it has received reports of 32 floods and eight landslides due to the indirect weather effects stemming from Eta. It has placed most of the country — all areas except the Caribbean — under a yellow alert due to anticipated or ongoing heavy rainfall.
As of late Monday morning, authorities are regulating passage on Route 2 and Route 32 due to landslides.
National Police said Monday that they are assisting with evacuations of at-risk families within some communities in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone.
This is a developing story and will be updated further.