STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Beta with Google Earth Globe.|
29th October, 2005 ( Final News )
The latest NHC news for 11pm eastern time reports that Hurricane Beta
is now a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105mph and tracking
west at 5mph. It also advises that Beta could strengthen further and
become a major category 3 hurricane before landfall on the east coast of
29th October, 2005 ( News Update 3 )
The latest NHC advisory at 8pm eastern time reports that Hurricane Beta
is heading towards the Nicaragua coast at 5mph with winds of 90mph,
and that it is still expected to strengthen before landfall. Unless a
complete evacuation of the 90 mile coastal strip within the predicted
swathe is carried out quickly there is going to be a severe risk to
human life in the coming hours.
This hurricane resembles Stan in many ways and, as most will recall,
Stan caused dreadful loss of life from mudslides even though it was only
classified as a Tropical Storm as it approached the Oaxaca mountain
range. The topography in this part of Nicaragua is very similar i.e.
a fairly flat coastal floodplain on the eastern side with a north-south
mountain range of 2000ft 90 miles inland. Beta will get squeezed up
against the mountains and unleash it's copious rainfall which will more
than likely get pushed north and south. Couple that with a significant
expected storm surge and we have a potentially very serious situation.
This scenario looks somewhat like that of Hurricane Mitch in 1998
where 3000 people lost their lives in Nicaragua. 7 years on and the
village of Siuna
is still recovering from Mitch with the help of Oxfam.
29th October, 2005 ( News Update 2 )
The latest NHC updated news report puts Hurricane Beta 75 miles
east of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua and on a track to make landfall on the
east Nicaraguan coast. Hurricane Beta has sustained winds of 90mph and
is moving west at 5mph. Most of the region at the predicted landfall consists
of jungle and lagoons, and appears to be very sparsely populated for up
to 90 miles inland of the coast.
29th October, 2005 ( News Update )
At 2pm eastern time Hurricane Beta was moving west at 5mph with
maximum sustained winds of 90mph. Beta is expected to make category 2,
and possibly even category 3 before landfall along the northeastern
coast of Nicaragua.
Cerro Pia lies in the north-to-south mountain region of north-central
Nicaragua. The villages in this region could suffer very severely from
Beta's expected very high rainfall, and dangerous mudslides appear to be
29th October, 2005 News
Tropical Storm Beta has turned to the northwest overnight and intensified into
a hurricane category 1 with maximum sustained winds of 80mph. The expectations are
that Hurricane Beta will move erratically over the next 24 hours since steering
currents are weak. Beta will move very slowly or may become stationary. It is
forecast to become a category 2 hurricane, possibly before landfall along the
east coast of Nicaragua. Reports from the Columbian Meteorological Service continue
to indicate that Hurricane Beta has caused extensive damage to homes on Providencia
island and that there are still no communications with the island.
The NHC state that storm surge of 7 to 10 feet is still possible for Providencia
and that Nicaragua can expect it to be 10 to 13 feet above normal tide levels along
the eastern coast near and to the north of where Beta makes landfall. Beta is
expected to bring torrential rain to northeastern Honduras, Nicaragua, San Andres
and Providencia with totals of 10 to 15 inches and isolated amounts to a maximum
of 20 inches. Providencia may get up to 25 inches.