Tegucigalpa [Honduras], November 5 (ANI/Xinhua): Eta, which made landfall along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua Tuesday, moved into Honduras Wednesday afternoon as a weakened tropical storm, but still brought heavy rains, leaving at least two dead and thousands displaced.
Despite the downgrading, the Honduran government on Wednesday declared a national state of emergency due to the passage of the storm.
"We have decided to establish a red alert throughout the national territory and consequently a national alert," Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said in an address to the nation.
The slow-moving storm has killed at least one in Honduras, a 12-year-old child, and made more than 750 families homeless or displaced after lashing the country with strong winds and rain, local authorities said Wednesday.
Moreover, heavy rains and flooding have destroyed five bridges, cut off 41 communities and caused Tegucigalpa's Toncontin International Airport to be closed indefinitely, said the country's Permanent Contingency Commission.
In Nicaragua where the hurricane made its landfall, Eta has forced at least 30,000 people in the northeast to evacuate to shelters, said Guillermo Gonzalez, head of the country's National System for Prevention, Mitigation and Attention to Disasters, on Tuesday.
Bringing with it winds with speeds up to 240 km per hour, Eta has been designated as a category-4 storm, the second-most severe level on the scale, and was described by the US National Hurricane Center as "extremely dangerous."
What's more, indirect impacts have wreaked havoc on neighboring countries.
El Salvador on Wednesday reported one death from Eta, a 44-year-old fisherman who went out to sea despite a ban issued on Monday.
"Despite the fact that the government issued an order suspending all fishing activity, both traditional and sport fishing, and the man went out to do traditional fishing and unfortunately died," said William Hernandez, director of the Civil Protection Directorate.
In Costa Rica, heavy rains have driven 773 people to shelters and caused serious damage to infrastructure, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) said Wednesday.
According to the CNE, residents in high-risk areas were evacuated to 21 shelters along Costa Rica's Pacific coast as downpours sparked 69 landslides that damaged or destroyed roads in different communities.
Authorities in Costa Rica maintain an orange alert for the Pacific coast in the provinces of Puntarenas and Guanacaste as the National Meteorological Institute forecast that the rains will continue until Friday before the storm is set to head toward the US coast. (ANI/Xinhua)