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Hurricane Felix strikes Nicaragua | Sep 4, 2007

Due to the straight path that the Felix Hurricane was following in the Caribbean Sea it was assumed this meteorologic event would make landfall in Honduras, but after a slight change in its course the hurricane touched down on Nicaraguan soil this morning, Tuesday, September 4, in the northeastern corner of the country. The city of Bilwi (or Puerto Cabezas) and the surrounding villages, in the Northern Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) were affected before the continuing over Nicaraguan soil, heading towards Honduras.

Felix was classified as a Category 5 Hurricane when it entered Bilwi, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, but in relatively little time it was downgraded to a Category 2, which is maintained until now (Tuesday, September 4, afternoon), meaning strong rainfall and wind blowing at speeds of up to 100 km/hour.

According to information from the Nicaraguan Civil Defense Felix left the city of Bilwi and its surroundings at noon of this day. The first reports indicate that some 30% of the buildings in the urban center of the city have been damaged (mostly involving the roofs), and a much larger percentage of the communication and electricity infrastructure has been damaged. The damage was even more severe in neighboring communities like Krukira, Bismuna, and Sandy Bay.

In the RAAN area the latest reports indicate that some 5,500 houses have been partially or completely damaged, 13,000 houses have been evacuated, 38,000 people have been affected, and at this moment four deaths have been reported.

The hurricane continues its path eastward, and it has reached the mining zone (Siuna, Rosita, and Bonanza). The rains have also started to affect the departments of Jinotega, Estelí, Nueva Segovia and Madriz.