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story.lead_photo.caption This satellite image made available by NOAA shows Hurricane Iota over Nicaragua and Honduras on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, at 12:20 ET. Hurricane Iota tore across Nicaragua on Tuesday, hours after roaring ashore as a Category 4 storm along almost exactly the same stretch of the Caribbean coast that was recently devastated by an equally powerful hurricane. (NOAA via AP)

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Hurricane Iota battered Nicaragua with screeching winds and pounding surf Tuesday, chasing tens of thousands of people from their homes along the same stretch of the Caribbean coast that was devastated by an equally powerful hurricane just two weeks ago.

The extent of the damage was unclear because much of the affected region was without electricity and phone and internet service, and strong winds hampered radio transmissions.

Preliminary reports from the coast included toppled trees and electric poles and roofs stripped from homes and businesses, but no deaths or injuries, said Guillermo Gonzalez, director of Nicaragua's emergency management agency. More than 40,000 people were in shelters.

A day earlier, Iota intensified into a Category 5 storm, but it weakened as it neared the coast and made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. The system rolled ashore as a Category 4 hurricane about 30 miles south of the Nicaraguan city of Puerto Cabezas, also known as Bilwi. That was just 15 miles south of where Hurricane Eta made landfall Nov. 3, also as a Category 4 storm.

By midday Tuesday, Iota had diminished to a tropical storm and was moving inland over northern Nicaragua. It had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and was spinning westward at 12 mph. The storm was forecast to cross into southern Honduras late Tuesday.

Aid agencies struggled to reach their contacts, and the government said in a statement that at least 35 towns in the east and north had no phone service. Nicaragua's telecommunications ministry said phone and broadband provider Columbus Networks was offline because of flooding in Bilwi.

Along Honduras' remote eastern coast Tuesday, people continued evacuating from damaged and flooded homes.

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Mirna Wood, vice president of the Miskito ethnic group in Honduras' far east Gracias a Dios region, was in Tegucigalpa collecting donations for her community ravaged by Eta when Iota hit.

Some 40,000 people in the area had moved to shelters from low-lying land beside rivers and the sea, but other people remained stranded near the border with Nicaragua. Some were rescued by Nicaraguan authorities, she said.

In her last communication with the mayor of the community of Villeda Morales late Monday, he told her Iota was hitting them hard and the community had not completely evacuated.

"We are facing an incredible emergency," Wood said. "There is no food. There is no water."

In the community of Brus Laguna, some 500 people were in a shelter there and another 900 were being moved elsewhere, Mayor Teonela Paisano Wood said.

"We're in danger if it keeps raining," Paisano Wood said.

In mountainous Tegucigalpa, residents of low-lying, flood-prone areas were being evacuated in anticipation of Iota's rains, as were residents of hillside neighborhoods vulnerable to landslides.

Panama reported that one person was killed and another was missing in its western indigenous autonomous Ngabe Bugle area near the border with Costa Rica.

As the storm moved westward, flooding became a top concern. The Tola River topped its banks, and western Nicaragua, along the Pacific coast, was forecast to receive the most rain. Nicaragua's meteorology director, Marcio Baca, said areas where the soil was already saturated would receive 6 to 7 inches of additional rain.

Eta triggered flash floods and mudslides in parts of Central America and Mexico and killed more than 130 people.

"This hurricane is definitely worse" than Eta, Jason Bermudez, a university student from Bilwi, said as high winds preceded Iota's arrival. Many houses lost roofs, fences and fruit trees.

"We will never forget this year," Bermudez said.

Even before Iota hit Nicaragua, it scraped over the tiny Colombian island of Providencia, more than 155 miles off Nicaragua's coast. Colombian President Ivan Duque said one person was killed and 98% of the island's infrastructure was "affected."

Providencia is inhabited almost exclusively by the descendants of African slaves and British colonizers, who speak an English version of Creole as their native language. The island has no direct flights to the continent, but it has become an increasingly popular tourist destination thanks to its quiet beaches and rich marine life. On Tuesday, Colombian officials said they were sending a ship with 15 tons of aid to the island.

In the aftermath of Eta, Honduras has tens of thousands of homeless people. The country reported 74 deaths and nearly 57,000 people in shelters, mostly in the north.

Iota is the record 30th named storm of this year's historically busy Atlantic hurricane season. It's also the ninth storm to rapidly intensify this season, a dangerous phenomenon that is happening more often. Such activity has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say is causing wetter, stronger and more destructive storms.

Information for this article was contributed by Seth Borenstein, Christopher Sherman and Manuel Rueda of The Associated Press.

A structure stands in runs amid fallen branches after the passing of Hurricane Iota on San Andres island, Colombia, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Iota moved over the Colombian archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, off Nicaragua’s coast, as a Category 5 hurricane. (AP Photo/Christian Quimbay)
A structure stands in runs amid fallen branches after the passing of Hurricane Iota on San Andres island, Colombia, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Iota moved over the Colombian archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, off Nicaragua’s coast, as a Category 5 hurricane. (AP Photo/Christian Quimbay)
Wendy Guadalupe Contreras who was left homeless after the last storm hit the area, comforts her son as she speaks on the phone before Hurricane Iota makes landfall in La Lima, Honduras, Monday, November 16, 2020. Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered by a powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)
Wendy Guadalupe Contreras who was left homeless after the last storm hit the area, comforts her son as she speaks on the phone before Hurricane Iota makes landfall in La Lima, Honduras, Monday, November 16, 2020. Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered by a powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)
Locals move on street barely cleared from the debris of the last storm, before Hurricane Iota makes landfall in La Lima, Honduras, Monday, November 16, 2020. Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthened Monday into a Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered by a powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)
Locals move on street barely cleared from the debris of the last storm, before Hurricane Iota makes landfall in La Lima, Honduras, Monday, November 16, 2020. Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthened Monday into a Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered by a powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)
Motorcyclists pass debris on the road after the passing of Hurricane Iota on San Andres Island, Colombia, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Iota moved over the Colombian archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, off Nicaragua’s coast, as a Category 5 hurricane. (AP Photo/Christian Quimbay)
Motorcyclists pass debris on the road after the passing of Hurricane Iota on San Andres Island, Colombia, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Iota moved over the Colombian archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, off Nicaragua’s coast, as a Category 5 hurricane. (AP Photo/Christian Quimbay)
Neighbors help each other as they evacuate the area before Hurricane Iota makes landfall in San Manuel Cortes, Honduras, Monday, November 16, 2020. Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered by a powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)
Neighbors help each other as they evacuate the area before Hurricane Iota makes landfall in San Manuel Cortes, Honduras, Monday, November 16, 2020. Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered by a powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)
Mileydi Duarte, who was evacuated today by her family, rests under a highway bridge as she waits for space at a shelter before Hurricane Iota makes landfall in El Progreso Yoro, Honduras, Monday, November 16, 2020. Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered by a powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)
Mileydi Duarte, who was evacuated today by her family, rests under a highway bridge as she waits for space at a shelter before Hurricane Iota makes landfall in El Progreso Yoro, Honduras, Monday, November 16, 2020. Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered by a powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)
People living under precarious conditions make preparations before Hurricane Iota makes landfall in San Manuel Cortes, Honduras, Monday, November 16, 2020. Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered by a powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)
People living under precarious conditions make preparations before Hurricane Iota makes landfall in San Manuel Cortes, Honduras, Monday, November 16, 2020. Hurricane Iota rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 storm that is likely to bring catastrophic damage to the same part of Central America already battered by a powerful Hurricane Eta less than two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)
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