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Central America warns of an active hurricane season

April 22, 2021

A Central American forecasting organization is predicting that 17 tropical storms that may affect the region will form in 2021 and eight will become hurricanes, although they will be less intense than those registered in 2020.

The hurricane season “is expected to be more active and less intense” than last year, said the Central American Integration System (SICA), after holding the 64th Climate Forum with meteorologists and hydrologists from specialized agencies of the region.

“The relative temperatures [anomalies] of the surface of the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea have completely normalized, which creates an environment conducive to the development of less-intense hurricanes,” the specialists’ report states.

Of the eight anticipated hurricanes, four “could be intense,” warns the El Salvador-based SICA report.

“Prevention, mitigation and preparation are necessary” to reduce its effects, warned Claudia Herrera, the head of the board of the Coordination Center for Disaster Prevention in Central America (CEPREDENAC).

In the Pacific Ocean, the tropical storm season is scheduled between May 15 and November 30, while the Atlantic’s is from June 1 to November 30.

Due to “the regular temperature conditions in the Pacific Ocean, the presence of the La Niña or El Niño phenomenon is minimized for the following three months (from May to July),” the report states.

In November 2020, Central America was hit by hurricanes Eta and Iota, which left at least 200 dead, as well as millions of dollars in losses to the economy.

With a territory of 523.00 km2, and about 50 million inhabitants, Central America is exposed to constant eruptions of its volcanic chain, seismic events products of local geological faults and the interaction of the Cocos and Caribe plates.

Hurricanes and storms are also recurrent, as well as tsunamis along 2,830 km of coastline in the Pacific and 2,740 km in the Caribbean Sea.

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