Hurricane Beta Lashes Nicaragua

Hurricane Beta hits the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua on Sunday, with sustained winds of up to 110 miles per hour. Liane Hansen spoke with reporter Lorenda Riddekopp, who was in the country's capital Managua.

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

Hurricane Beta, the 23rd named storm of the season, hit the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua this morning as a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of about 110 miles per hour. It has since weakened and become a Category 1 storm. Reporter Lorenda Reddekopp is on the line from Managua.

Lorenda, what have you been hearing about this hurricane and the effects it's having?

Ms. LORENDA REDDEKOPP (Reporter): Well, the communities right nearby where the storm hit which is basically central Nicaragua right on the coast there about in the middle, they're out of communication right now, but there were government officials who did manage to speak with people from there very early in the morning and they said that the communities there are flooded, there are houses that are completely destroyed and the figure that the journalists were given is that there are 13,000 people who are considered at risk.

HANSEN: Now is this a sparse population or is it a heavily populated area?

Mr. REDDEKOPP: I would say it's sparse. There are communities around there that may have up to 2,000 people or 3,000 people, but it's not large cities by any means and it's also difficult to get to the area. There aren't highways to get there. You have to get there by boat. I understand there may be some kind of dirt road to get there as well. And from the nearest city where they're talking about sending aid, I'm told that it's around five hours by boat.

HANSEN: Reporter Lorenda Reddekopp in Managua, Nicaragua. Lorenda, thanks a lot.

Mr. REDDEKOPP: Thank you.

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