The official death toll in Nicaragua rose to six, according to vice president and first lady Rosario Murillo. Local media reported more unconfirmed deaths.
A distraught Filimon Wilfred, 72, said Iota had destroyed his family’s five houses leaving its 18 members homeless in the coastal city of Bilwi.
“The hurricane came, it destroyed my house, my daughter’s house, it destroyed five houses in total,” Wilfred said. “Where am I going to live?”
Iota struck Monday evening as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 miles per hour, close to the force and location of Hurricane Eta two weeks earlier. By Wednesday, Iota had weakened and dissipated over El Salvador. But the storm’s torrential rains remained a threat.
Iota flooded stretches of neighboring Honduras that were still underwater from Hurricane Eta.
The storm’s center passed just south of Tegucigalpa, the mountainous capital of Honduras, where residents of low-lying, flood-prone areas were evacuated, as were residents of hillside neighborhoods vulnerable to landslides.
Along Honduras’s remote eastern coast, people fled their homes as waters rose.
“What affected us most here was the flooding. The Barra Patuca sector has been flooded for the last two weeks,” said Teonela Paisano Wood, mayor of the Honduran town of Brus Laguna. “We are in danger if it keeps raining.”
Eta caused more than 130 deaths as it triggered flash floods and mudslides in parts of Central America and Mexico. It left tens of thousands homeless in Honduras, which reported 74 deaths and nearly 57,000 people in shelters.
Iota was the 30th named storm of this year’s busy Atlantic hurricane season, which ends November 30.