Hurricane Iota strengthens into Category 5 storm on path to Central America

Hurricane Iota strengthens into Category 5 storm on path to Central America


Hurricane Iota has strengthened into a “catastrophic” Category 5 monster – the highest level — as it moves toward Central America, where it is forecast to make landfall along the Nicaragua-Honduras border late Monday, officials said.

The hurricane, which is packing maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, would “bring catastrophic wind, life-threatening storm surge and torrential rainfall,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

Iota, the first Category 5 storm this hurricane season, was moving at about 9 mph when it was located about 100 miles east-southeast of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, around noon, CNN reported.

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It is forecast to dump up to 20 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 30 inches possible, in addition to a life-threatening storm surge of as much as 20 feet, the NHC said in its latest advisory.

Costa Rica and Panama should see about 4 to 8 inches of rainfall, with totals of 12 inches possible in some locations.

The deluge will “lead

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