Tropical storm Julia reaches the Pacific after passing Nicaragua

Hurricane Julia crossed Nicaragua on Sunday reaching the Pacific at night, after hitting the country with intense winds and rains that destroyed hundreds of houses but left no fatalities, according to government officials.

The storm made landfall on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast early Sunday near Laguna de Perlas and by 0000 GMT it was over the Pacific about 220 kilometers (135 miles) southeast of El Salvador’s capital, the Center said. National Hurricane of the United States (CNH).

The storm is expected to move north reaching the coasts of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala on Sunday and Monday, according to the NHC.

About a million residents of the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua were left without electricity and Internet due to the fall of the lines, as well as a decision by the Government to cut electricity for security reasons, local media reported, citing a speech by the vice president Rosario Murillo.

Nicaragua’s National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Attention said in a tweet on Sunday afternoon that the entire country was under a “red alert” after heavy rains caused multiple rivers to discord.

In a press conference, the director of the System, Guillermo González, said that no deaths have been recorded, but there has been material damage. More than 13,000 families have been evacuated from the Caribbean region, and more than 800 homes have been destroyed with many more roofs damaged.

“The event is not over,” González said.

The CNH maintained its warning of “risk of flash floods and landslides that endanger life in areas of Central America on Sunday and Monday”, moving on to affect southern Mexico early next week.

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The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, said on his social networks in the morning that Julia had left “slight damage” in the Caribbean islands of the country, San Andrés and Providencia.

In San Andrés, strong winds tore the tin roofs off houses, according to Police Chief Octavio Gutiérrez. On Sunday, the streets echoed with the sound of handsaws that police and locals used to clear fallen tree trunks and branches.

In areas considered high risk in Honduras, authorities declared a red alert and asked residents to evacuate due to heavy rains.

Salvadorans prayed in the city’s squares on Sunday morning, after the country’s president, Nayib Bukele, declared the day the “National Day of Prayer”, calling on citizens to “join to pray and ask for the protection of God”.

As Julia continued north, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei told a news conference Sunday night that the storm had already caused three floods and the collapse of a bridge.

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