By Iván Castro
MANAGUA – The intense winds and heavy rains caused by the passage of the powerful hurricane Iota, degraded at noon to tropical storm, on Tuesday lashed the Nicaraguan territory causing destruction in homes, falling trees and power lines and flooding.
In the afternoon, the death of six people was reported, between them two minors, due to the effects of the powerful hurricane Iota passing through its territory, that this Tuesday was degraded to a tropical storm, said Vice President Rosario Murillo.
Murillo, wife of President Daniel Ortega, said a man from 60 years and his son died in a community of Wiwilí, in the northern department of Jinotega, by a landslide, a woman lost her life in Quilalí, New Segovia, another man also in Jinotega, as well as two children in the department of Carazo.
“We have done everything that is humanly possible to keep the population safe.”, noted the vice president.
2 and Wamblan, Wiwilí: Carlos Carazo and his son Ariel Carazo.
1 in Quilalí: Maria de la Cruz Duarte.
1 in Jinotega: Carlos Lopez.
2 children in Santa Teresa, municipality of Carazo.
“Those lives hurt us and we have to insist, let's take care brothers, let's protect life and take all indications seriously. If we are already housed, why are we going out, if it has been said that we protect ourselves in the houses, why are we going out”, Murillo said on Sandinista television.
Meanwhile, the authorities of the Attention System, Disaster Mitigation and Prevention (Sinapred) they lodged in shelters some 50.000 people, nail 38.000 evacuated mainly in the northern area of the Caribbean in communities surrounding Bilwi, Miskito name of Puerto Cabezas and the rest in Siuna, Rosita and Bonanza that form the so-called Mining Triangle. As well as others affected in Matagalpa, Jinotega and Nueva Segovia, which is the route that takes the storm to Honduras and El Salvador. A radio reported two deceased children, but there was no official confirmation.
The hurricane, the 31 in an intense season that exceeds 28 of 2005, made landfall on Monday night in that area of the Caribbean with category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and so far the authorities do not have a count of damages or victims because the phenomenon is still in Nicaraguan territory.
In recent history and since there is a historical count, it would be the first time that a hurricane with this intensity has affected the Central American region almost in the same place where 15 days ago Hurricane Eta entered, that caused dozens of deaths and thousands of victims mainly in Honduras and Guatemala.
On Monday and before the impact of Iota, four presidents of Central America asked for international support for the constant storms, attributed to climate change.
The Guatemalan President, Alexander Giamattei, said that a humanitarian crisis is looming in his country after Eta destroyed the crops of 700.000 people in Guatemala and that greater effects are expected from the effects of Iota.
In Nicaragua there were floods in the Pacific area due to heavy rains. Sandinista television showed flooded homes in the department of Rivas, south of Managua.
While, videos of Internet users showed damage to homes and the fall of some of them in the department of Matagalpa, north of the country.
At noon it rained more intensely than in the morning and the winds were stronger. Scared dogs like cats sought shelter.
The Institute of Territorial Studies (Ineter) said the storm will head towards Honduras and then seek the center of El Salvador. Marcio Read, of the Ineter, He called on the population to be attentive to the instructions of the authorities since the continuous rains are causing flooding and landslides could be generated in mountainous areas of the north of the country and near volcanoes such as on the island of Ometepe, or in the Casitas and San Cristobal volcanoes.
Meanwhile, the head of Sinapred, Guillermo Gonzalez, said that in a preliminary evaluation no victims are registered and that they still attend emergencies due to the rains. “Until now (…) we continue without any sign, without any information that we have had human harm”, said in statements to state television.
It was also said that there was no telephone or internet communication with the north of the country due to the damage of the cyclone in Bilwi.
Storm Iota carries winds with speeds of up to 105 kilometers per hour, the authorities explained.