Panama decrees national emergency due to Hurricane Iota
Panama City, Nov 16 (Prensa Latina) The extension of the Environmental Emergency across the country to face the first consequences of Hurricane Iota anticipated on Monday to an increase of the natural disasters the periphery of the meteorological event could leave in Panama.
So far, the death toll from the collateral damages caused by tropical event Eta remains at 19, while rescuers are looking for 12 other people missed more than a week ago.
A report issued this Monday by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), whose reports are used by the local weather service, said that a reconnaissance aircraft detected the rapid development of Iota, which will cause strong winds, large swells and rains in Central America.
Meanwhile, the local forecast prevented that Iota could reach this morning category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale of five, when maximum sustained winds of 230 kilometers per hour were detected in its center, which is located north of the Panamanian coast. It is moving westward at 17 kilometers per hour.
The forecasts of the Hydrometeorology Department at the Electric Transmission Company SA (ETESA) show today moderate rains across the national territory, occasionally heavy rains in several Caribbean coast and mountainous regions in central and west. NHC predicted that Iota could bring up to 200 millimeters (mm) of rain for Panama.
The climate center monitors the flow of rivers in floodable areas, while it predicted winds of up to 80 kilometers per hour, with higher gusts in the mountainous regions. The Civil Protection System of Panama declared a red alert for the extreme west area and yellow alert in the rest of the country.
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