Hurricane Julia Hits Central America
Hurricane Julia made landfall in Central America this week, leaving a wake of destruction in its path and killing dozens in the region. Thousands were evacuated from their homes and millions were left without power as the storm travelled through El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras.
Julia hit Nicaragua’s East Coast on Sunday as a category one hurricane with winds of 85 mph. It then passed through the country’s mountainous terrain, reemerging on the West Coast as a tropical storm. By Monday, Julia had moved on to El Salvador and Guatemala, and while wind speeds were down to 30 mph, the storm’s heavy rain continued to cause devastating flooding and landslides.
The Nicaraguan National Disaster System issued a “red alert” for the entire country after multiple rivers flooded, resulting in over 13,000 residents being evacuated and power in almost one million homes blacked out. A ‘state of emergency’ was declared by Guatemala’s president on Monday, and highways were closed in Honduras and Costa Rica.
Julia is also believed to have caused a heavy mudslide in Venezuela, which killed 36 people. The storm was only categorised as a tropical depression when it passed the country, but many days of heavy rain accompanied it, which is believed to have caused the slide.