Hurricane Iota Becomes a Category 5 Storm

first_img– Advertisement – The storm was 100 miles southeast of Cabo Gracias Dios on the border of Nicaragua and Honduras with maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said on Monday morning. The storm was moving west at 9 m.p.h. Iota was expected to make landfall in the area on Monday night.A hurricane warning was in effect for several cities along the coast of both countries, where the storm was expected to produce up to 30 inches of rain in some areas through Friday. The intense rainfall could lead to significant flash flooding and mudslides in higher elevations, the center said, and that Iota was forecast to make landfall in northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras on Monday night. Forecasters warned that damage from Hurricane Iota could compound the destruction caused by Hurricane Eta in Central America. As Hurricane Iota intensified and inched closer to the coastline of Nicaragua and Honduras, it appeared that there would be no reprieve for Ms. Rodríguez and many others weary residents of the region.The storm, which was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane Monday morning, was expected to make landfall by Monday night, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Those in the path of Hurricane Iota were not the only ones comparing it to Hurricane Eta.“It’s eerie that it’s similar in wind speed and also in the same area that Eta hit,” said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman and meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center.The storm’s impact will be felt “well before the center makes landfall,” Mr. Feltgen said.- Advertisement – “I am afraid of the sea level,” Ms. Rodríguez said. “You can see the water coming up and up every minute, so I guess we will have to evacuate.”- Advertisement – The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which is set to end on Nov. 30, has seen 30 named storms and 13 hurricanes. Meteorologists exhausted the 21-name list that is used each season, turning to the Greek alphabet to name systems. The last time the Greek alphabet was used was in 2005, which saw 28 storms strong enough to be named.Scientists have found that climate change affects how hurricanes form and strengthen; rising ocean temperatures linked to global warming can cause storms to weaken more slowly and remain destructive for longer. In a recent study, scientists found that 50 years ago a typical storm would have lost more than three-quarters of its intensity in the first 24 hours, when it might travel several hundred miles inland, but now it would only lose about half.Alfonso Flores Bermúdez reported from Puerto Cabezas, Derrick Taylor from London, Allyson Waller from Texas and Neil Vigdor from New York. Johnny Diaz contributed reporting from Miami. More than 60 deaths were confirmed throughout Central America from Hurricane Eta. In Guatemala, rescuers feared that more than 100 people had been killed in the village of Quejá after the storm chopped off part of a mountain slope.Many people in the region were left homeless after a number of structures were damaged or destroyed. “Shelter is going to be a problem,” Mr. Feltgen said.Dozens of Indigenous communities were evacuated starting on Saturday night in Nicaragua and Honduras. In Puerto Cabezas, families were sleeping amid the rubble left from the previous hurricane.Elsewhere in the country, it was not immediately clear how many people had been transferred to shelters, but photos taken by residents showed hundreds of people being evacuated in Cabo Gracias a Dios and other remote villages.SINAPRED, the National System for the Prevention, Mitigation and Attention of Disasters in Nicaragua, had also suspended sailing and fishing in nearby waters.Sadam Vinicius, a father of three, decided to stay with his family at their home near the coast. Afraid of losing his roof, he tried to save it from damage by tying it up with ropes he uses for his work as a fisherman. “We have not received any aid from the government yet,” Mr. Vinicius said. “I am afraid of losing my roof.” PUERTO CABEZAS, Nicaragua — The situation was all too familiar for Marina Rodríguez: A destructive storm in what has been a record-setting Atlantic hurricane season was bearing down on the Mosquito Coast.The previous storm, Hurricane Eta, washed away her home less than two weeks ago, said Ms. Rodríguez, 47, whose children were helping her build a temporary shelter on Sunday.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Canada’s Conservatives pick O’Toole to challenge PM Trudeau

first_imgCanada’s main opposition Conservative Party on Monday elected Erin O’Toole, a former cabinet minister and armed forces veteran, to be its new leader and the primary challenger to Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.O’Toole replaces Andrew Scheer, who failed to unseat Trudeau in an election last year.In the leadership race, O’Toole beat out the better known Peter MacKay, who co-founded the Conservative Party in 2003 and was a high-profile member of former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper’s government, and two other candidates. A member of parliament from the most populous province of Ontario, O’Toole had twice before lost bids to lead the party. He takes over as Trudeau’s Liberals lead in national polls.Support for the Liberals surged as the government spent hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency aid during the pandemic, but they have lost ground in recent weeks amid an ethics scandal involving Trudeau and his former finance minister, Bill Morneau.Liberals would get 36.4% of the votes if an election were held today, while the Conservatives would win 29.9%, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp’s poll tracker, an aggregate of recent surveys.One of O’Toole’s challenges will be to lure back voters in urban centers such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal that have more parliamentary seats than rural areas. They were Liberal strongholds in the past two national elections.O’Toole must “make inroads into the urban ridings and suburban ridings” and “be able to appeal to swing voters who held their noses and voted for the Liberals” last year, said Shachi Kurl, executive director of non-profit polling group the Angus Reid Institute.In his acceptance speech, O’Toole reached out to left-leaning voters, saying there was room for them in the Conservative Party.The son of a retired Ontario politician, O’Toole was first elected in 2012 in a by-election and served briefly as veterans affairs minister in Harper’s cabinet from February to November 2015.O’Toole joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at 18, working as a helicopter navigator before transferring to the Canadian Forces reserves in 2000.He then pursued a law degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, returning to Ontario upon graduation and working as a corporate lawyer.He and his wife Rebecca have two children.  The campaign was overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. The results, announced in a virtual convention broadcast from Ottawa, were delayed at least five hours by mechanical problems with the machines opening nearly 175,000 ballot envelopes.While there is no vote looming, Trudeau needs the support of at least one of three opposition parties to stay in power, and a crucial confidence vote on the government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan is expected in late September.”The Conservative Party will be ready for the next election and we will win the next election,” O’Toole said in his acceptance speech, delivered after 1 a.m. ET (0500 GMT).O’Toole, a 47-year-old father of two, describes himself as a “true blue Conservative” and has vowed to “put Canada first” while helping families and the economy recover from the coronavirus crisis.center_img Topics :last_img read more