Tropical storm Eta hits Florida Keys, expected to strengthen as hurricane
- Tropical storm Eta made landfall on Florida's Lower Matecumbe Key
- Florida officials have closed beaches, ports and COVID-19 testing sites
- On Wednesday, Hurricane Eta weakened to a tropical storm as it pushed into Honduras
Tropical storm Eta made landfall on Florida's Lower Matecumbe Key on Sunday, days after leaving over 100 missing and many dead in Mexico and Central America, National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Eta has been declared a hurricane in Miami, however, the NHC has given storm surge warnings for the Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay.
The officials in Florida have closed beaches, ports, even COVID-19 testing sites and warned the public to stay inside. They have also opened several shelters for the same.
"The maximum sustained winds were 65 mph (100 km/h) with a minimum central pressure of 991 mb," the NHC tweeted.
Storm Eta, which is expected to become a hurricane soon, swelled rivers and flooded coastal zones in Cuba forcing 25,000 people to evacuate.
On Sunday, officials raised the death toll to 27 from 15 and said more than 100 were missing in Guatemala. Search operations are underway and authorities are still digging for people believed buried by a huge landslide in San Cristobal Verapaz. Some 60,000 people had been evacuated in Guatemala.
On Wednesday, Hurricane Eta weakened to a tropical storm as it pushed into Honduras, leaving behind a trail of destruction in Nicaragua where it made landfall the day before as a Category Four hurricane.