Julia, which made landfall in Nicaragua early Sunday on the Caribbean coast as Hurricane 1, was downgraded to a tropical storm lashing with heavy rains and winds before reaching the Pacific Ocean on Sunday night, according to the National Hurricane Center of USA.
Although at the moment there are no reports of victims or major material damage, The warning of risks of flash floods and landslides in Nicaragua, like the rest of Central America, continuesindicated the CNH.
Julia was 75 kilometers west of Managua at 10:00 p.m. GMT and was moving at 26 km/h with winds of 85 km/h. It is expected that at the end of the afternoon or evening it will leave the Pacific Ocean, reported meteorologist Marcio Baca, from the Nicaraguan Institute for Territorial Studies (Ineter).
“The tropical storm is moving, it has not left (the territory) and even if it leaves, emergency and alert conditions will prevail,” added Murillo, who called on the population to be cautious.
“We have no report of deaths” due to the passage of Julia on the Caribbean coast, where the nearly 13,000 evacuees to temporary shelters began to return to their homes, said Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo.
Preliminary balance of damages
Julia entered Nicaragua as a category 1 hurricane, with winds of almost 140 km/h and heavy rains, leaving at least 800 homes flooded and an unspecified number affected by the detachment of roofs, indicated the National Disaster Prevention and Care System. (Sinapred).
Likewise, interruptions of energy, drinking water and communications are reported in various parts of the country due to breakdowns in power lines and fiber cables, mainly in the departments of Matagalpa, Jinotega (north) and Chontales (center).
In Bluefields, the main city on the southern Caribbean coast, hurricane-force winds and intense rains began to be felt around midnight on Saturday, and communications were interrupted by mid-morning on Sunday.
Before Julia’s arrival, the population of Bluefields stocked up on food and sheltered in their homeswhile the fishermen took their boats to safety.
The tropical storm is moving, it has not left (the territory) and even if it leaves, emergency and alert conditions will prevail
Suyen Obando, a resident of Bluefields, expressed her surprise at the violence of the hurricane that made landfall in Laguna de Perlas, 30 km north of that city.
“No one expected that it was going to be so strong (…) as they said that there was only going to be a little rain and wind, we trusted ourselves too much, but at dawn the wind and rain began and we had to leave the house, because The trees were already beginning to fall,” he said. “It is difficult to be under those winds and rains (…) the house was flooded and the zinc sheets were lifted and the river swelled,” Francisco González told AFP.
Central America, vigilant
Before the arrival of Julia, the Panamanian authorities carried out evacuations in the province of Chiriquí, bordering Costa Rica, in the Pacific, after registering landslides and the collapse of some infrastructure.
In Guatemalawhich is on red alert throughout the country due to the risk of floods and landslides, the Red Cross carried out preventive evacuations in Puerto Barrios, northeast of the capital, on Sunday.
In El Salvador also has a red alert throughout the territory in order to speed up evacuations in areas considered to be at high risk due to overflowing rivers, landslides on the slopes of hills and mountains.
The hurricane previously hit the Colombian archipelago of San Andrés and Providencia, where some 48,000 people live, but no significant damage or casualties have been reported so far.
Julia is the second hurricane of the 2022 season to affect Central America after Bonnie entered the Caribbean through the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica in July.
Climate change produces an increase in temperature in the surface layers of the oceans, which generates more powerful storms and hurricanes and with greater amounts of water, according to experts.
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