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Home » Disasters, Environment » 23 Persons Evacuated from Punta Negra Village as Hurricane Eta Makes Landfall in Nicaragua
Nov 3, 2020

23 Persons Evacuated from Punta Negra Village as Hurricane Eta Makes Landfall in Nicaragua

Tonight, our neighbours in Nicaragua are taking a hit from the dangerous Hurricane Eta which has been pounding Puerto Cabezas. One fatality has been reported so far and hundreds of persons have been taken to shelters as the storm moves slowly across the country, causing increased coastal impacts. Heavy rains are being experienced here in Belize and evacuations are taking place in southern Belize. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody with a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

It was expected to make landfall along the coast of Nicaragua overnight, but Hurricane Eta, a category four storm with maximum sustained winds of up to one hundred and forty miles per hour, has slowed down and moving at five miles per hour in a westward direction.


Ronald Gordon

Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist

“It is making landfall over the northeast coast of Nicaragua. The latest update from the National Hurricane Centre as of three p.m. local time, Hurricane Eta was centred near latitude 13.4 degrees north, longitude 83.5 degrees west and that puts it about fifteen miles south southwest of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. In terms of distance from Belize; that’s about four hundred miles southeast of Belize. Eta was moving to the west at five miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of one hundred and forty miles per hour.  A category four hurricane is nothing to play with. They would be experiencing significant storm surge, gusts – very strong winds, destructive winds actually in that area. And torrential rainfall as well. So especially those on the coast, the combination of rainfall along with the storm surge; that’s the water from the ocean coming in with the wind would be disastrous for those people in living in the area just north of the centre where the system is making landfall at the moment.”


Images from Nicaragua which have surfaced online show the extent of the devastation, although the storm is expected to significantly weaken as it continues to move inland over Nicaragua and then into central portions of Honduras by Thursday morning.


Ronald Gordon

“The forecast in the immediate term is for the system to continue moving westward and move over Nicaragua. As the system moves over land, we expect it to weaken significantly. It is going to continue moving west to a west northwest ward across the mountainous terrains of Nicaragua and Honduras and will eventually weaken to a tropical depression and maybe even to a remnant low. In the long term, there is a lot of uncertainty, but the depression or remnants of eta will eventually curve to the north and move across Guatemala and into southern Belize and then move off the coast of Belize north eastward into the northwest Caribbean Sea.”


In Belize, since Monday, the country has been experiencing unrelenting rains across the country, but primarily in the south. NEMO Southern Regional Coordinator is Kenton Parham who says that the Emergency Operation Centre has been activated in Toledo and that this morning, twenty-three persons from the small coastal village of Punta Negra have already been evacuated.


On the Phone: Kenton Parham, Southern Regional Coordinator, NEMO

“We have activated the Toledo District Emergency Committee; the Emergency Operation Centre to respond to the threat of flooding associated with Hurricane Eta. So far we have activated communities that are flood prone and coastal to anticipate and prepare for the threat, primarily flooding. This morning, we took the precaution and evacuated Punta Negra Village, which is one of our most vulnerable coastal areas and then we are working with other inland communities that are prone to flooding along our main river ways and waterways.”


Parham says that NEMO personnel on the ground will continue to monitor and remain vigilant over the next forty-eight hours or until the threat is no more.


On the Phone: Kenton Parham

“The EOC will be activated until the threat is no longer facing the district, our country. We keep monitoring. We keep updating our communities and ensuring that they are ready to respond, ready to open shelter and ready to move people to higher ground.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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