The Autonomous Region of the Northern Caribbean (RACN) of Nicaraguahit since last night by the powerful hurricane Iota, has been cut off, without electricity and telecommunications services, and isolated from the Pacific, authorities reported Tuesday.
Bilwi, the main city of the RACN, has been isolated and without electricity since last night after the torrential rains and hurricane-force winds caused by Iota, which also damaged telecommunications services, as confirmed by the state Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Correos (Telcor). And it is precisely in this city where 38,000 of the 40,000 evacuated people had taken refuge in 250 shelter centers.
The Eye of Iota made landfall on Monday at 10:00 p.m. local time (04:00 GMT Tuesday), in the Haulover community, south of Bilwi, as a Category 4 cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson scale, of a maximum of 5, which he had already achieved before the impact.
Haulover, home to about 350 families with 1,750 people, mostly indigenous people of Miskito origin, is a community dedicated to artisanal fishing and tourism, and so far the damage caused by the hurricane that hit that area with strong winds is unknown. 250 kilometers per hour.
The collapse of telecommunications in the Caribbean has left families in the Pacific in anguish, as nothing is known about the Caribbean populations affected by Iota, classified as an “extremely dangerous” hurricane.
“We have serious effects on telecommunications services in the area (…), because Culumbus Networks, a broadband telecommunications service provider, made land court, is out of service due to flooding at its plant, located in Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi jurisdiction), “Telcor explained in a statement.
According to the governing body of telecommunications in Nicaragua, the cut was added to other damages that affected operators that provide the service in the RACN, the poorest, most vulnerable and forgotten area of the country, and that until now have made any form of communication impossible. The “other affectations” cited by Telcor were the “lack of power supply, cutting of optical fibers by strong winds and falling of poles, radio links misaligned by the force of the winds “.
At least 34 localities in the RACN and northern Nicaragua, an area affected by Iota, remain isolated, in addition without access by land due to damage to infrastructure and flooding of rivers, according to the official report. Telecommunications were interrupted after the eye of Iota reached land, before midnight, at the time when the inhabitants of the area, especially from Bilwi, shared images that showed the strength of the hurricane, with trees downed, roofs collapsed, and rising water levels.
Second hurricane in no time
Since then, the fate of those affected is unknown, who had already survived, 13 days before, the passage of the hurricane And, also category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The Eta caused the near total destruction of at least five coastal communities, as well as thousands of houses in Bilwi and other towns, making the area highly vulnerable when Iota entered. According to calculations by this Central American country, Eta left 1,890 houses destroyed and another 8,030 with partial damages.
Iota, currently Category 1 Saffir-Simpson, caused flooding in the Pacific zone of Nicaragua, as a result of the circulation of its winds, against the hands of the clock. The authorities maintain the red alert for the Caribbean of Nicaragua, yellow for the north and south, as well as green for the rest of the country, since it does not rule out a major disaster.