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Iota reaches hurricane strength and is forecast to hit storm-ravaged Central America as a major hurricane by Jason Hanna and Alanne Orjoux November 15,2020   |  Source: CNN

The storm known as Iota rapidly strengthened into a hurricane early Sunday and is expected to slam into Central America as a strong Category 4 hurricane -- the very region already devastated by Hurricane Eta earlier this month -- forecasters say.

Iota will also be the second major hurricane to make landfall in the same region in less than two weeks. Eta made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on November 3 and Iota is forecast to make landfall as a Category 4 with sustained winds of at least 130 mph late Monday night or early Tuesday.

Iota, which formed Friday at sea, was centered in the Caribbean about 380 miles east-southeast of the Nicaragua-Honduras border with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph as of 7 a.m. ET Sunday, the US National Hurricane Center said. It is forecast to continue to rapidly strengthen over the next 24 hours.

Iota -- the 13th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season -- is expected to continue heading west and make landfall somewhere in Central America, potentially near the Honduras-Nicaragua border by late Monday or early Tuesday, CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin said.

Nicaragua has issued a hurricane warning from Sandy Bay Sirpi to the border with Honduras, and Honduras issued a hurricane warning from from the border of Nicaragua to


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