Hurricane Iota is the latest, and strongest, storm to ravage Central America this year, and it has wreaked devastation on several countries and caused a number of lives to be lost.

According to the National Hurricane Center, life-threatening flash flooding, mudslides and river flooding is expected through Thursday across portions of Central America due to heavy rainfall from Iota. Having strengthened at sea to a category five storm, it was downgraded to four as it first made landfall and has now weakened to a tropical depression over El Salvador.

Hurricane Iota hits San Andres Island
San Andrés Island was badly hit by Hurricane Iota © John Hudson/Getty Images

Hurricane Iota is the most powerful hurricane of this record-setting Atlantic season, and it first impacted the Colombian islands of San Andrés and Providencia, affecting 90% of the latter's infrastructure and rendering its local airport unusable. At least two people are dead and one is missing on Providencia, according to Colombia's president, Ivan Duque.

Iota is considered the strongest storm to hit Nicaragua in its history, according to its vice-president Rosario Murill, killing six people. The situation hasn't been helped by the fact that Hurricane Eta made landfall with devastating effect in Nicaragua and Honduras a couple of weeks ago before moving up to Florida.

Hurricane Iota wreaks havoc n the city of Cartagena
The flooded Nuevo Paraiso neighborhood on the island of Belen © Javier Garcia Salcedo/Vizzor Image/Getty Images

Swells generated by Iota are expected to affect much of the coast of Central America and the Yucatán Peninsula, causing life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Severe rainfall is expected to affect El Salvador, Panama, western Honduras, Nicaragua, southern Belize and Costa Rica. Iota has caused mass evacuations throughout the destinations it has landed in as it rips up houses, floods streets and cuts off electricity.

Updated information on the Iota can be found here. If you would like to help hurricane recovery in the stricken region, some of the organizations raising funds to help include the Red Cross, Save the Children and World Central Kitchen.

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