The Honduran government declared a national red alert due to persistent heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Eta on Wednesday, November 4. Tropical Storm Eta is forecast to weaken to a depression as it moves into Honduras on Wednesday evening. As of 15:00 (local time), Eta was located approximately 160km (100 miles) east of Tegucigalpa. It is sustaining maximum winds of 65 kph (40 mph) and moving west at 11kph (7mph). Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 75km (45 miles) from the center.
Emergency response teams have evacuated hundreds of inhabitants from the areas most at risk. At least one person was killed after a landslide took place in San Pedro Sula. On Wednesday, Hurricane Eta was downgraded to a tropical storm; however, heavy rains are expected to continue. Tropical Storm Eta is forecast to move across Honduras today on Wednesday through Thursday, November 5. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts 380 to 510mm (15-20 in) of rainfall with up to 1000mm (40 in) in the East. It is forecast to emerge over the Gulf of Honduras or the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Thursday night into Friday, November 6, where it is forecast to regain strength as it moves towards Cuba and South Florida.
Eta will likely lead to catastrophic winds, life-threatening flash flooding and storm surge, river flooding, landslides, and difficult travel conditions in portions of Central America, particularly in Nicaragua and Honduras, as well as Guatemala and Belize. Heavy rains are expected through Sunday, November 8. Flash and river flooding are also possible across Jamaica, southeast Mexico, El Salvador, southern Haiti, and the Cayman Islands.
Honduras is vulnerable to powerful storms and hurricanes from June to November. These storm systems have the potential to unleash heavy downpours and strong winds as well as storm surges that can wreak havoc in coastal areas. Travel and service delivery are also known to be affected. In addition, storm systems can cause rain-triggered floods and landslides, which pose considerable hazards to both human communities and infrastructure.
Those in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, including evacuation orders. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.
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