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The National Hurricane Center announced the passage of the tropical storm through Central America. Photo: CNH
The National Hurricane Center announced the passage of the tropical storm through Central America. Photo: CNH

Julia leaves a disaster in Caribbean countries

The tropical storm wreaked havoc in Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.

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The hurricane that formed off the La Guajira peninsula in Colombia, passed through several countries of the Caribbean coast, leaving material losses, injuries and deaths in its path. 

Since Monday morning, the storm has been moving along the northwest coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, as reported by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), which maintains its warning of "risk of flash flooding and life-threatening landslides in Central America and southern Mexico" until tomorrow.

Following the passage of Julia over the island of San Andres, in Colombia, Governor Everth Hawkins Sjogreen announced that several areas of the island are experiencing power outages, as well as falling trees and rising tides.

"We received information regarding the collapse of a house in the La Paz neighborhood. The children are already safe, thank God," Hawkins Sjogreen told Semana Magazine.

According to the national entities, the affectations were not serious on the island.

"Thank God the hurricane formed just above the island, if it had formed earlier, for example 100 kilometers before reaching San Andres, it was probable that we would be receiving a category two or three hurricane," Hawkins said. 

After passing over Colombia, Julia headed for Nicaragua on Sunday night where it rose to hurricane status causing heavy rains and showers, flooding and mudslides. It eventually weakened to a tropical storm, where it left considerable damage, but did not claim any lives, according to government data.

Around 1 million people in Nicaragua's coastal region were left without electricity and Internet during the storm's passage, according to Reuters. Some of the outages were due to downed lines, while most were due to the government's decision to cut electricity for security reasons.

Upon arrival in Honduras, authorities confirmed that at least three people have died in the wake of the cyclone. Two of them died in the departments of Gracias a Dios, in the northeast, and one in the Chamelecón river, in the west of the country, near the border with Guatemala, according to Armando Juárez Brito, Copeco's Director of Preparedness and Response. 

Likewise, the National Police of El Salvador confirmed through its Twitter account that at least two people died after a wall collapsed on a house in Guatajiagua. The Civil Protection guard in this country also reported one person dead after a tree fell on a house in the municipality of Caluco due to the storm. 

"At this time of the morning we have approximately 1,000 people sheltered in 25 active shelters, which are in decent conditions," the institution published on Monday.

AccuWeather forecasters are monitoring Julia's track after it drops to a lesser storm. A small portion of Julia's energy will hover near the southwestern Gulf of Mexico for a period throughout the week, although there is a remote chance that it could briefly become a new tropical depression or storm for the Atlantic basin. The much more likely scenario is that this disturbance will be torn apart by strong winds in the region. If this system were to become a named storm on the Atlantic side, it would be named Karl.

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