Huge Waves Menace Colombian Islands as Storm Julia Gathers Speed


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(Bloomberg) — Tropical Storm Julia is menacing Colombia’s San Andres island with huge waves and as much as 12 inches of rain as it strengthens into a hurricane on Saturday. 

“Steady to rapid strengthening is forecast while Julia moves across the southwestern Caribbean Sea today and tonight, and the system is expected to become a hurricane later today,” the US National Hurricane Center said in a bulletin at 8 a.m. New York time. 

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Heavy rainfall “may cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in Central America through this weekend,” the hurricane center said. 

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Julia’s center is likely to pass directly over San Andres, and also be felt strongly in the nearby Colombian islands of Santa Catalina and Providencia, according to the nation’s weather-monitoring agency. The agency warned residents that waves larger than 4-meters are likely. 

Colombian President Gustavo Petro called on local hotels to offer refuge to “the vulnerable population.”

The storm is then on track to then hit Nicaragua on Sunday. 

Julia, the Atlantic’s 10th storm in 2022, had top winds near 60 miles (95 kilometers) per hour as it moves across the Caribbean toward Central America. 

The storm comes after hurricanes Ian and Fiona hit the US and Canada in recent weeks. Ian left widespread destruction across Florida, while Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island took damage from Fiona.

Julia could strike Nicaragua as a Category 1 hurricane, the lowest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. 


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