Nov. 4 (UPI) — Eta weakened to a tropical storm early Wednesday after making landfall in Nicaragua as a robust Class Four hurricane a day prior.

Eta, the 28th named storm and 12th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, moved over Nicaragua Tuesday afternoon, the Nationwide Hurricane Heart mentioned, threatening to trigger “catastrophic” wind injury and a life-threatening storm surge.

However because it moved throughout the Caribbean nation it weakened and had most sustained winds of 70 mph by early Wednesday, the Nationwide Hurricane Heart mentioned in its Four a.m. EST replace.

The forecasters mentioned Eta was situated 90 miles west of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and was touring west at eight mph.

“The middle of Eta is anticipated to maneuver over northern Nicaragua by way of this morning, after which transfer throughout the central parts of Honduras by way of Thursday morning,” the NHC mentioned. “The system is forecast to emerge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday.”

The NHC mentioned Tuesday that water ranges may attain 14 to 21 ft above regular tide ranges in some areas. Catastrophic flash flooding and landslides are anticipated by way of Friday night in elements of Central America. Jamaica, southeast Mexico, El Salvador, southern Haiti, and the Cayman Islands additionally may see flash flooding and river flooding.

The NHC suggested folks in Cuba, southern Florida and the Florida keys to watch the progress of the storm, which may regain tropical storm power earlier than approaching Florida this weekend.

The NHC warned Tuesday that Eta is “extraordinarily harmful.”

By Tuesday morning, the storm had already triggered widespread energy outages and triggered flooding in a number of the nation’s poorest areas, in response to Nicaraguan officers.

A hurricane warning is in impact from the coast of Nicaragua from the Honduras-Nicaragua border to Sandy Bay Sirpi, the NHC mentioned.

When Eta reached Class Four power, it achieved a uncommon feat for this late within the season. Solely three Class Four hurricanes — Lenny in 1999, Michelle in 2001 and Paloma in 2008 — and one Class 5 hurricane have developed within the Atlantic through the month of November.

Forecasters say Eta may have an identical influence to that of Hurricane Mitch from 1998, which struck across the identical level of the season. Greater than 11,000 folks died as a consequence of catastrophic flooding.

When Eta turned a tropical storm on Saturday, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season tied 2005 for producing probably the most tropical storms in a single season.

The Nationwide Hurricane Heart had by no means used the title Eta earlier than this storm, making it the farthest the middle ever dipped into the Greek alphabet to call a tropical storm. The one different 12 months to make use of Greek letters to call Atlantic storms after the season’s designated checklist was exhausted was 2005.