Tropical Storm Nate killed at least 20 people in the regions of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras, and is now moving north towards the U.S.
The storm formed on Thursday, October 5, and is expected to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend as a hurricane. Meteorologists state that the storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and is moving north-north-west at 10 mph.
The U.S. has already issued alerts and states like New Orleans and Louisiana have jumped into action. Officials in Louisiana immediately ordered evacuations in parts of St. Bernard Parish which is located east of New Orleans.
Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency for the state. He stated that 1,300 National Guard troops were on alert, ready to deal with the emergency. He added that 15 of the troops were headed to New Orleans to monitor the fragile pumping system in place there.
In his statement, Governor Edwards warned residents to be aware of the extent of the storm. He asked them to reach a safe permanent destination by “dark o Saturday.”
Forecasts have declared that Nate is set to gain steam and become a Category 1 storm before it hits the U.S. Acting on this information the Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu declared a state of emergency on October 5.
In a public statement he said, “To the citizens of New Orleans, there is no reason to panic, but there is reason to prepare.”
Nate has already wreaked havoc in Central America. The storm affected the drinking supply of nearly 400,000 people in Costa Rica and killed at least six. 11 people were killed in Nicaragua and three were killed in Honduras.
Several people in each country were reported missing. In total more than a thousand people were displaced and left in search of shelter.