(AP) Nicaragua began evacuating about 10,000 people from the path of Tropical Storm Matthew as the storm drenched the Caribbean coast and threatened much of a Central American region prone to disastrous flooding.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Matthew's center had hit land over northeastern Nicaragua Friday afternoon and was heading northwest along the Central American coast and inland toward Guatemala with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.
CBS News Storm Tracker
The Hurricane Center said it could bring 6 to 10 inches of rain to Nicaragua and Honduras, with the possibility of flash floods and mud slides. Some parts of Nicaragua already were coping with flooding due to earlier rains.
A tropical storm watch also was in effect for the coast of Belize.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega ordered the preventive measures and "all emergency structures are on alert," Lt. Col. Freddy Herrera told The Associated Press by telephone. "We have evacuated people from the region of Cabo Gracias a Dios and the Miskito Cays" in the same region.
Flights into the area were suspended due to limited visibility, though the winds are moderate, the military said.
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Tropical Storm Matthew Threatens Guatemala - CBS News