Julia Now a Hurricane,Threatens Central America

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Tropical Storm Julia became a hurricane late Saturday as it passed the Colombian islands and is headed to Nicaragua.

“Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides possible from heavy rains over Central America and Southern Mexico through early next week,” according to the US National Hurricane Center.

Julia is packing maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h) and authorities are warning that it is moving toward the west at 17 mph (28 km/h) and officials are strengthening their forecast until it makes landfall in Nicaragua.

“We are on high alert. It is highly likely to reach San Andres between 7 and 9 at night,” Colombian President Gustavo Petro wrote on Twitter. “The entire hotel infrastructure must open space for shelters for the vulnerable population,”

Hurricane Iota hit the area in November 2020 and damaged 98% of Providencia Island’s infrastructure.

The storm is expected to hit Nicaragua early Sunday and threatened 800,000 residents.

A yellow alert was declared in Colombia and evacuations began on the west coast.

Authorities planned 345 shelters for more than 68,000 residents in 205 critical areas vulnerable to landslides and flooding.

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