Saturday, October 22

153,000 people are in immediate danger in Nicaragua

The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, said today that 153,000 people are in immediate danger by a disturbed weather in the Caribbean Sea that could become a tropical depression over the weekend. Ortega said in an official ceremony held in Managua today, that this phenomenon represents an "extreme threat" to 111 communities located in the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, while the Pacific is still recovering from heavy rains that have fallen since two weeks ago.

A report by the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (Ineter) warned that is a 50 percent chance that the system, located off the coast of Nicaragua, will develop from its current status.

Jorge Castro, meteorologist with Ineter, said that this system is more organized than the one that tried to form in the Gulf of Mexico a week ago.

"From the start, this is more of a tropical system than that," Castro said. "It's more organized."

While temperatures are cooler here and the Gulf water temperature has dropped as well, that's not the case in the Caribbean.

"There haven't been any cold fronts that have gotten all the way down there," Castro said. "The water temperatures are plenty warm down there."

Now is when systems are more likely to form in the Gulf and Caribbean than they are in the Atlantic Ocean.

"This is the time of year when storms tend to form in that area," Castro said. "That is a typical place that things develop in late October."

Nicaragua has also declared a state of emergency with 25,000 people affected by the floods. Rains are expected to continue in Central America due to the rain season; thus the water level is still increasing.