Hurricane Iota now a Category 5 storm near Central America

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Hurricane Iota is now a dangerous Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered this month by powerful Hurricane Eta.

Iota rapidly intensified overnight into a mighty system over the western Caribbean, headed toward Nicaragua and Honduras.

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The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Air Force hurricane hunters flew into Iota’s core and measured maximum sustained winds of 160 mph.

Evacuations began over the weekend to move people out of low-lying areas in Nicaragua and Honduras near their shared border. Iota was expected to make landfall late Monday.