The “ETA” category 4 hurricane, with winds up to 249 km/h, made landfall on 3 November south of Bilwi (Nicaragua) and is currently tracking northwestward towards Honduras, Guatemala and Belize, gradually losing intensity. Since it made landfall, ETA has weakened to a category 1 hurricane, with maximum winds of up to 135 km/h.
Extensive damage and flooding has been reported across northern Nicaragua and parts of Honduras. Thousands of local residents were forced to evacuate. In addition, Honduran rescue services reported that a woman died on 3 November in the collapse of her house in the Cortes region. Two miners also died in Bonanza, Nicaragua.
In a November 4 bulletin, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that catastrophic winds, life-threatening flash floods and landslides were expected across Central America until the evening of November 6. Flash floods and river flooding are also possible across Jamaica, south-eastern Mexico, El Salvador, southern Haiti and the Cayman Islands.
According to the latest forecasts, Hurricane ETA is expected to gradually turn into a tropical storm before reaching Cuba on 8 November and then southern Florida (USA).
Further disruption and severe weather are expected in the coming days.