Tropical storm Julia turns into hurricane as heading towards Nicaragua

This handout satellite image provided by CIRA/CSU & NOAA on October 8, 2022 and captured at 14:30 UTC on October 7 shows Tropical Storm Julia off the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia. Central America and Colombia were on alert on October 8 as Tropical Storm Julia churned in the southern Caribbean basin, likely to strengthen into a hurricane before hitting Nicaragua, authorities said. - AFPPIX

Tropical Storm Julia became a hurricane late Saturday as it passed the Colombian islands and headed to Nicaragua.

“Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides possible from heavy rains over Central America and Southern Mexico through early next week,“ Anadolu Agency quoted the US National Hurricane Centre.

Julia is packing maximum sustained winds of 120 km/h and authorities are warning that it is moving towards the west at 28 km/h as officials strengthening their forecast until it makes landfall in Nicaragua.

“We are on high alert. It is highly likely to reach San Andres between 7 and 9 at night,” Colombian President Gustavo Petro wrote on Twitter. “The entire hotel infrastructure must open space for shelters for the vulnerable population,“

Hurricane Iota hit the area in November 2020 and damaged 98 per cent of Providencia Island’s infrastructure.

The storm is expected to hit Nicaragua early Sunday and threatened 800,000 residents.

A yellow alert was declared in Colombia and evacuations began on the west coast.

Authorities planned 345 shelters for more than 68,000 residents in 205 critical areas vulnerable to landslides and flooding. – Bernama