The Nicaraguan authorities raised the hurricane alert throughout the national territory and urge preventive measures to be taken
HAVANA TIMES – With the advance westward of tropical storm Julia the Nicaraguan government decreed a hurricane alert throughout the national territory on Saturday. The National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Attention (Sinapred), said the center of the storm will reach land on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua between the Saturday night and early morning of Sunday, October 9, as a category 1 hurricane.
At 2:00 PM (ET) this Saturday, the tropical storm was located about 365 km from Bluefields on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, with maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h. The weather system continues to move west at a speed 30 km/h
The Nicaraguan regime of Daniel Ortega reported that in the last few hours Julia’s projected path had shifted slightly to the south, so it could impact the Laguna de Perlas area as a category 1 hurricane. It is expected that, once over land it will lose intensity and weaken to tropical storm strength.
The impact of the storm is expected to bring high tides in the Caribbean, and then rains that could cause flooding and landslides in mountainous areas. The authorities have initiated a process of evacuation of families living in areas of greatest risk.
The Nicaraguan Army “is preparing to evacuate families, especially from the islands and keys, which are the most exposed,” said VP Murillo Friday through her official media. Some 7,800 people live there, according to official data, the majority on Corn Island, although there are also scattered populations in the keys of northern Nicaragua.
Murillo also stated that the authorities are preparing the conditions for emergency evacuations in other areas in case they are necessary.
“A few hours before (the impact) we are going to be issuing specific alerts to guarantee that all precautions are raised to the maximum,” the spokeswoman also said on Friday afternoon.
The coordinator of the Development Council for the Caribbean Coast and electoral magistrate, Lumberto Campbell, referred to a “serene” alert.
Boat launches are prohibited
On Friday a ban on boat launchings in the Caribbean Sea came into force in Nicaragua, and the captains of merchant, transport, and fishing vessels have received the recommendation that they seek a safe harbor.
The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Tropical Storm Julia could become a hurricane on Saturday night, before hitting Nicaragua on Sunday.
The NHC also warned of heavy rain, storm surge up to four feet above normal tide level, in areas encompassed by its winds.
The impact of hurricanes on the east coast of Nicaragua is common, since the country has a coastline of more than 500 kilometers facing the Caribbean Sea, one of the world’s most cyclonic regions.
In November 2020, Nicaragua was hit within 13 days by the powerful hurricanes Eta and Iota in the North Caribbean coast as category 4 hurricanes on the Saffir-Simpson scale, out of a maximum of 5.