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Tropical Storm Iota threatens to hit Central America as countries recover from Hurricane Eta

A tropical storm is threatening Nicaragua and Honduras just days after the countries were ransacked by Category 4 Hurricane Eta.

Tropical Storm Iota is brewing in the Caribbean Sea and could approach the coasts of the Central American countries as early as Monday.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said Iota could bring dangerous winds, a storm surge, and as much as 30 inches of rain.

The storm is more than 300 miles south-south-east of Kingston, Jamaica, with maximum sustained winds of 40mph, and moving to the west-south-west at 5mph.

Iota could wreak more havoc in a region where people are still grappling with the aftermath of Eta, which hit Nicaragua last week as a Category 4 hurricane.

The NHC said there was a 30-50% chance Iota could reach hurricane force winds in the coming days.

Eta killed at least 120 people as torrential rains brought flash floods and landslides to parts of Central America and Mexico.

It then meandered across Cuba, the Florida Keys and around the Gulf of Mexico before slogging ashore again near Cedar Key, Florida, and dashing across Florida and the Carolinas.

The Tampa Bay area was buffeted with gusty winds and rain, and there was one US death linked to Eta, a man who was electrocuted in his flooded garage as he was laying sandbags.

Iota is already a record-setting weather system, being the 30th named storm of an extraordinarily busy Atlantic hurricane season.

Such activity has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say is causing wetter, stronger and more destructive storms.

Eta was the 28th named storm of this year’s hurricane season, tying the 2005 record for named storms. Theta, the 29th, is weakening over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean.

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