1 dead, more than 40,000 displaced as Hurricane Iota tears through Central America

Iota is now the strongest hurricane to hit Nicaragua in November on record.

November 17, 2020, 2:51 PM

Hurricane Iota is ripping through Central America, packing catastrophic winds, life-threatening storm surge and extreme rain.

Iota made landfall Monday night along the northeastern coast of Nicaragua, about 15 miles from where Hurricane Eta made landfall as a Category 4 just 13 days earlier. Iota is now the strongest hurricane to hit Nicaragua in November on record.

PHOTO: Hurricane Iota blows over Central America in a satellite image collected by NOAA on the morning of Nov. 17, 2020.
Hurricane Iota blows over Central America in a satellite image collected by NOAA on the morning of Nov. 17, 2020.
RAMMB/NOAA

Iota has since weakened to a tropical storm but is still dropping very heavy rain that could cause life-threatening flash floods, landslides and mudslides in Nicaragua, Honduras and parts of Guatemala through Thursday.

PHOTO: A woman carrying her son leaves her house as Honduran soldiers evacuate residents in anticipation of heavy rains as Hurricane Iota approaches, in Marcovia, Honduras, Nov. 17, 2020.
A woman carrying her son leaves her house as Honduran soldiers evacuate residents in anticipation of heavy rains as Hurricane Iota approaches, in Marcovia, Honduras, Nov. 17, 2020.
Jorge Cabrera/Reuters
PHOTO: Soldiers, municipal police and municipality employees evacuate residents amid the arrival of Hurricane Iota, en Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Nov. 17, 2020.
Soldiers, municipal police and municipality employees evacuate residents amid the arrival of Hurricane Iota, en Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Nov. 17, 2020.
Orlando Sierra/AFP via Getty Images

In Nicaragua, more than 40,000 people are in shelters. Several cities are reporting damage, including downed trees, downed power lines, damage to homes and flooding, said Marcio Bamaca, the director of Nicaragua's meteorological department.

In Colombia, at least one person is dead and another person is missing.

PHOTO: People pick up debris left on the street after the passage of Hurricane Iota in San Andres, Colombia, on Nov. 17, 2020.
People pick up debris left on the street after the passage of Hurricane Iota in San Andres, Colombia, on Nov. 17, 2020.
Liana Florez/AFP via Getty Images
PHOTO: Motorcyclists pass debris on the road after the passing of Hurricane Iota on San Andres Island, Colombia, Nov. 17, 2020.
Motorcyclists pass debris on the road after the passing of Hurricane Iota on San Andres Island, Colombia, Nov. 17, 2020.
Christian Quimbay/AP

Colombia's president, Ivan Duque, said he flew over the hard-hit island of Providencia where they're working to deliver humanitarian supplies. Duque said the mayor in Providencia told him 99% of the island's infrastructure was destroyed.

In Honduras, heavy rain is flooding rivers and toppling trees.

PHOTO: A boy carries his rabbit with him as he is evacuated amid the arrival of Hurricane Iota, in Tegucigalpa, Hondruas on Nov. 17, 2020.
A boy carries his rabbit with him as he is evacuated amid the arrival of Hurricane Iota, in Tegucigalpa, Hondruas on Nov. 17, 2020.
Orlando Sierra/AFP via Getty Images

There is a 30% chance for another tropical system to develop southeast of Nicaragua, bringing more rain to parts of Central America.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the coldest air of the season is moving into the Northeast Tuesday night with freezing temperatures expected from Washington, D.C., to Boston.

The wind chill could fall to 20 degrees Fahrenheit in New York City Wednesday morning.

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