Iota Leaves 35 Nicaraguan Municipalities Incommunicado

Flooding in the department of Rivas.  Photo: Courtesy

In the North Caribbean, the electric power service is interrupted, so it is impossible to know the damage.

By Ivette Munguía (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Hurricane Iota has so far left 35 Nicaraguan municipalities cut off according to the Telecommunications Institute (Telcor). The interruption in communications is a consequence of the flooding in facilities that provide broadband telecommunications service in those areas.

The hurricane hit the North Caribbean Region with winds of 250 kilometers per hour. Communication and electricity services were interrupted, so it is impossible at this time to know the damage caused by Iota.

Other areas partially affected by the communications outage are: the South Caribbean Region, Jinotega, Matagalpa and Nueva Segovia. The collapse of telecommunications in the Caribbean keeps families in the Pacific in anguish. They know nothing about the region’s populations affected by the powerful hurricane Iota.

The eye of the hurricane made landfall on Monday at 10:00 p.m. in the Haulover area, south of Bilwi. When it reached the coast it packed winds of 155 mph (250 km/h).

Roads cut off

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicated in its latest bulletin that Iota is now a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (105 kph) that is moving west at 12 mph (19 kph).

Iota is generating floods in the Pacific zone as well, as a product of the circulation of its winds. The authorities maintain the red alert for the Caribbean of Nicaragua, yellow for the north and south, as well as green for the rest of the country, since it does not rule out a major disaster.

Many areas affected by Hurricane Iota also remain without access by land due to damage to the road infrastructure and river flooding. These are mainly in the Wawa Boom River sector, according to the official report. Likewise, all flights to Bilwi were suspended on Monday by La Costeña airline and will be resumed until further notice.

Residents are evacuated from the most dangerous areas in San Jose de Bocay, Jinotega. Photo: Dr. Jose Delgado Alvarado

Telecommunications were interrupted after the eye of Iota reached land before midnight. Up until then, inhabitants, especially from Bilwi, shared images showing the strong hurricane winds. These included pictures of trees downed, roofs collapsed, and rising water levels.

Since then, the fate of those affected is unknown. Just 13 days before, they suffered the passage of Hurricane Eta, also a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Eta caused the near total destruction of at least five coastal communities. Likewise, thousands of houses in Bilwi and other locations, making the area highly vulnerable when Iota entered.

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