Overall Red alert Tropical Cyclone for IOTA-20
in Honduras, Nicaragua

Event summary

Tropical Cyclone IOTA-20 can have a high humanitarian impact based on the maximum sustained wind speed, exposed population and vulnerability.

GDACS ID TC 1000743
Name IOTA-20
Glide number: TC-2020-000220-HND
From - To 13 Nov - 18 Nov
Exposed countries Honduras, Nicaragua
Exposed population 560 thousand in Category 1 or higher
Maximum wind speed 259 km/h, Category 5
Maximum storm surge 1.9 m (17 Nov 04:00 UTC)
Vulnerability Medium (Honduras)


For more info on GDACS alert score click here.
+ Wind Storm surge Rainfall GDACS score
GDACS 259 km/h 1.9 m n.a. 2.5
Single TC: maximum expected impact (wind, storm surge, rainfall)
HWRF 274 km/h 2.6 m 1066 mm 1.5
GFS 158 km/h 1.7 m 607 mm 0.5
ECMWF 166 km/h 2 m 736 mm 0.5
Beta Version - All weather systems in the area: maximum expected impact (wind, storm surge, rainfall)
Maximum expected impact (wind, storm surge and rainfall) using different data sources.
Virtual OSOCC
Meteo assessment
Satellite products
Analytical products
Central America and Colombia - Hurricane IOTA update (ECHO 19 Nov 2020)Thu, 19 Nov 2020 10:53

  • The passage of IOTA over Central America (northern Nicaragua, southern Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) on 17-18 November caused very heavy rainfall over the region, triggering floods and landslides that have resulted in several casualties and severe damage, only few days after the devastating impact in the area of Hurricane ETA.
  • In Nicaragua, 36 fatalities, more than 62,914 sheltered people and 53,130 families without water service, were reported. In Honduras, around 10,326 people evacuated, 71,228 people in shelters and 3 bridges affected were also reported. One fatality was reported in Panama.
  • In Colombia, media report 7 fatalities (of which 2 in Providencia Island, close to the coast of Nicaragua, where nearly all infrastructures have been damaged or destroyed). Other parts of the country are also severely affected by heavy rain and floods associated to “La nina” phenomenon.
  • Over the next 24 hours, very heavy rainfall is forecast over Central America from south-eastern Mexico south to northern Venezuela, in particular over north-western Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize.
Central America - Hurricane IOTA update (ECHO 18 Nov 2020)Wed, 18 Nov 2020 02:00

  • Tropical Storm IOTA reached El Salvador on 18 November, its center was located near Anamoros Municipality (La Union Department, south-eastern El Salvador), with maximum sustained wind of 65 km/h. IOTA is forecast to weaken as it moves south-west over southern EL Salvador, dissipating in the afternoon of 18 November.
  • After passing across northern Nicaragua and southern Honduras, IOTA caused widespread damage. Media report at least 6 fatalities in Nicaragua and one in Honduras caused by river overflow and landslides. About 63,000 people have been evacuated to 600 evacuation shelters in Nicaragua. Strong wind damaged communication routes, hindering rescue operations.
  • In Panama, at least one person died and 3 are missing, following the heavy rainfall brought by IOTA, according to media.
  • On 18-19 November, heavy rainfall is forecast over El Salvador, Panama, western Honduras, northern Nicaragua, southern Belize. A tropical storm warning is in effect for coastal areas from central Honduras to the Honduras/Guatemala border.
  • The Copernicus EMS was activated in rapid mapping mode () on 17 November, in order to support the damage assessment.
Central America - Hurricane IOTA update (ECHO 17 Nov 2020)Tue, 17 Nov 2020 02:00

  • Hurricane IOTA made landfall over north-eastern Nicaragua in the early morning of 17 November, with maximum sustained wind of 210 km/h (Category 4).
  • According to media reports, strong wind and heavy rainfall have damaged several buildings across Puerto Cabezas, which had been recently heavily affected by the passage of Hurricane ETA. In Nicaragua, more than 70,000 inhabitants have been evacuated to 1,299 shelters and about 19,000 people have been deployed in the emergency activities. In Honduras, about 50,000 people have been evacuated nationwide.
  • IOTA is expected to weaken as it moves farther inland across northern Nicaragua and will reach south-western Honduras in the early morning of 18 November as a Tropical Storm.
  • Heavy rainfall is forecast over Honduras, northern Nicaragua, south-east Guatemala, and southern Belize on 17-19 November.
  • A hurricane warning is in effect for the coastal areas from central Nicaragua, to southern Honduras. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Providencia, and San Andres islands, coastal areas in central Nicaragua, and northern-central Honduras.
Nicaragua, Honduras - Hurricane IOTA (ECHO 16 Nov 2020)Mon, 16 Nov 2020 11:09

  • The newly-formed hurricane, IOTA is moving west over the Caribbean Sea.  On 16 November, its center was located about 70 km east-north-east of Providencia Island (Colombia), and about 300 km east of Puerto Cabezas City (RACCN, northern Nicaragua), with maximum sustained winds of 205 km/h (Category 3).
  • IOTA is expected to strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane as it approaches the eastern coast of northern Nicaragua and Honduras, which have been heavily affected by the passage of hurricane ETA in early November. It is forecast to makes landfall over the eastern coast of northern Nicaragua on the morning of 17 November.
  • Compulsory evacuations for residents in Honduras and Nicaragua have already begun, as reported by media.
  • Heavy rainfall is expected over Honduras, northern Nicaragua, Guatemala, southern Belize and strong wind and storm surge are expected along the coast of Nicaragua and Honduras. A hurricane warning is in effect for Providencia Island, the eastern coastal areas from central Nicaragua, to southern Honduras.
Detailed event map. European Union, 2021. Map produced by EC-JRC.
The boundaries and the names shown on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the European Union.

Updates on volcanic activity (Smithsonian)

Latest media headlines

Articles: 1860 | About casualties: 119 | Last hour: 0

Ouragan Iota : le bilan s'alourdit en Amérique centraleSun, 22 Nov 2020 09:07:00 +0100.

L'ouragan Iota a fait 41 morts en Amérique centrale, dans des glissements de terrain et des inondations, selon un nouveau bilan qui pourrait s'alourdir au fur et à mesure que les secours atteignent les régions sinistrées.
Hurricane Iota smashes Central AmericaSun, 22 Nov 2020 06:45:00 +0100.

A man checks for belongings to pack whilst evacuating his house in anticipation of heavy rains as Hurricane Iota approaches, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras November 16, 2020. Residents arrange their belongings in the trunk of their car whilst ev
As they repair Iota’s damage, Colombian survivors vow to rebuildSun, 22 Nov 2020 06:10:00 +0100.

When Category 5 Hurricane Iota roared over the small Colombian island of Providencia in the early hours of Monday morning, Yeisler Chamorro and his wife hunkered down underneath a mattress in their bedroom. Nearly all the infrastructure on
Honduras: UNICEF Central America Humanitarian Situation Report No. 3 ( ... Sun, 22 Nov 2020 04:19:00 +0100.

Countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama Source: UN Children's Fund Please refer to the attached file. Highlights Two weeks after Hurricane Eta struck Central America, authorities continue assessing

Estimated casualties (PAGER)

USGS estimates the number of casualties for each earthquake for the Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) product.
The graph shows the current fatalities estimate.

Exposed population

Data, images, links, services and documents

For this events, GDACS has links to information from the following sources: EMSR (2), UNOSAT (1), JRC (38), (1), WMO (1), INFORM (2),