The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a hurricane warning for the Bay Islands of Honduras as well as the coast of Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan area stretching from Chetumal to Puerto Costa Maya.
Lisa will strike Central America almost three weeks after Julia, which hit Nicaragua as a hurricane and left up to hundreds dead. Almost half drowned in Honduras and the rest were buried by landslides in Guatemala and El Salvador.
Lisa was moving westward in the Caribbean Sea at a speed of 24 kilometers (15 miles) per hour with maximum sustained winds of 120 km/h (75 mph) and even higher gusts, said the NHC.
In its latest advisory the NHC has advised that interests in Honduras, Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula should monitor the storm and its progress.
The NHC classifies a tropical storm as a hurricane when its sustained winds reach 75 miles an hour (120 kilometers an hour).
Belize Getting Ready
The NHC warned that the coast of Belize and the southeastern Yucatan Peninsula should expect hurricane force conditions by this afternoon. The Bay islands of Honduras should feel the effects of tropical storm winds.
The mayor of Roatan declared an “emergency” and instructed the owners of luxury hotels to “inform their guests of the weather conditions” and to remain in seclusion for at least 36 hours.
The closure of all businesses was ordered as of Wednesday, leaving only pharmacies and gas stations open.
It also suspended classes and set up educational centers as shelters, although for the time being it asked eventual evacuees to stay with family and friends.
The warm waters of the Caribbean act as fuel for these storms and they currently are uncommonly warm.
Its current track takes it well north of Costa Rica and is not predicted to have a significant impact on the country.
While November is the last month of the official hurricane season it is not uncommon recently for storms to form late in the season.
The NHC hurricane hunter aircraft will continue to monitor the storm and provide further updates.