Hurricane Julia entered Nicaragua via the Caribbean coast early Sunday with winds of 85 mph (140 km/h), impacting between Orinoco and Laguna de Perlas. Climate projections indicate that the phenomenon will weaken as it advances through the national territory. However it was still strong on Sunday morning.
The winds tore off the roofs of homes, felled trees, tore down power lines and left some coastal areas without power, while the rains caused flooding in some sectors, local authorities reported.
Agrometeorologist Agustín Moreira, from the Observatory of Natural Phenomena, pointed out that Julia hit as a category one hurricane, generating heavy rains in the areas of Karawala, Bluefields, and Punta Gorda. After the impact, he said the storm will move through El Rama, Nueva Guinea, Muelle de los Bueyes, Morrito, Matagalpa, Boaco and Chontales.
Since Julia’s impact, communications between the Caribbean coast and the rest of Nicaragua have presented problems. Reports of Julia’s effects in the area are limited, as it is a region with multiple communities that remain isolated even in normal times.
Starting around 2:00 p.m. the projected path of a then weakened Julia show it moving through the area of Managua, Masaya, Granada, Rivas and then Chinandega, from where it will be leaving the territory between 8 p.m. and midnight.
Rainfall “is going to be quite strong,” warned Moreira. Julia’s path has varied some, so it could affect most of the national territory, he said.
The US National Hurricane Center (NHC), the leading regional authority in the region, warned that the rains discharged by the fifth hurricane this season in the Atlantic can cause flooding and landslides in Central America and southern Mexico.
The track forecast from the NHC indicates that after Julia crosses Nicaragua it will move near the Nicaraguan Pacific coast and pass over portions of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Julia is expected to weaken to a tropical depression on Monday and dissipate later that evening. In addition to rain and wind, Julia will generate a storm surge that can raise sea level up to 1.2 meters.