Hurricane Julia is now a Category 1 storm over Central America

A hurricane has developed from ex-tropical storm Julia, which is expected to make landfall on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua on Saturday (October 8), according to forecasters in BLUEFIELDS, Nicaragua.

Bluefields is one of Nicaragua’s major coastal towns expected to be hit by the storm, so residents are busy securing their boats and rushing to the grocery store and ATMs to stock up on supplies.

The US National Hurricane Center reported that as Julia approached the Colombian islands of San Andres and Providencia, “Julia became a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h).” On the hurricane wind scale on the Saffir-Simpson scale, where one is the least intense of the five categories, Julia is a Category 1 storm.

Hurricane Julia is now a Category 1 storm
Hurricane Julia is now a Category 1 storm

The NHC predicts it will reach Nicaragua sometime Sunday evening, move across the country Sunday, and then approach or move along the Pacific coasts of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala by Monday.

Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo said if Julia continues on its current path, it will make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane between the coastal communities of Orinoco and Laguna de Perlas, north of Bluefields.

About 6,000 people in Nicaragua’s Laguna de Perlas region, the Miskito Keys and other areas have been evacuated. Cabinet maker Javier Duarte of Bluefields told AFP that people there had to stock up on food and plastic because they didn’t know what would happen.

Many of the buildings in this city of 60,000 are dangerously fragile. Heavy rain “over Central America and southern Mexico into early next week” could cause “life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides,” the National Hurricane Center warned.

Hurricane Julia is now a Category 1 storm
Hurricane Julia is now a Category 1 storm

From 00:00 UTC on Sundaythe center of the storm was located about 32 kilometers southwest of San Andres Island in Colombia and about 201 kilometers northeast of Bluefields.

It’s been less than two weeks since one of the US’s deadliest hurricanes, Hurricane Ian, slammed into southwest Florida, killing dozens of people. Another deadly US hurricane, Julia, is now expected to hit Central America.

In western Florida, the Category 4 storm leveled entire neighborhoods. American media reported over a hundred killed.

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