Weather & Extreme Events

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Oct. 17 -- Managua (AFP) - Nicaragua and Honduras were bracing for severe weather Monday after Tropical Storm Hanna formed off the Caribbean coast.

Hanna, with top winds of 40 miles per hour, was forecast to move quickly inland and produce heavy rainfall, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

At 12 p.m., the storm system was located about 25 miles west-southwest of Cabo Gracias a Dios on Nicaragua's border with Honduras.

The Miami-based NHC issued a tropical storm warning for the area between Punta Patuca, Honduras to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, which could expect heavy rains and high winds by 7 p.m The forecasters said parts of both countries were already being drenched.

"Hanna producing heavy rains over eastern Honduras and northeastern Nicaragua," the NHC reported.

The storm was moving west at 7 miles per hour and was expected to move further inland over northeastern Nicaragua on Tuesday.

Nicaragua issued a yellow alert, allowing civil defense agencies to take preventive measures to safeguard the population.

The national disaster prevention agency SINAPRED urged people to remain calm and follow official guidance on the storm.

"They are taking the necessary steps to safeguard the lives of people and their property," meteorology chief Marcio Baca told Radio Ya.

Hanna could produce up to 15 inches of rain across Honduras and northern Nicaragua, according to the NHC.

Heavy rains that have lashed the country since Oct. 9 have left 28 people dead, displacing or otherwise affecting more than 60,645 people and damaging 6,214 homes.

The rainy season has saturated the soil, causing rivers and streams to overflow and triggering landslides on the slopes of volcanoes and mountainous areas across the country.

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