TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Hurricane Iota battered Nicaragua with screeching winds and pounding surf Tuesday, chasing tens of thousands of people from their homes along the same stretch of the Caribbean coast that was devastated by an equally powerful hurricane just two weeks ago.
The extent of the damage was unclear because much of the affected region was without electricity and phone and internet service, and strong winds hampered radio transmissions.
Preliminary reports from the coast included toppled trees and electric poles and roofs stripped from homes and businesses, said Guillermo González, director of Nicaragua’s emergency management agency. More than 40,000 people were in shelters.
Later, Nicaragua Vice President and first lady Rosario Murillo said that a brother and sister, ages 11 and 8, had drowned in the community of La Pinuela trying to cross the swollen Solera River. There were reports of others missing in the same area.
A day earlier, Iota intensified into a Category 5 storm, but