SAN SALVADOR, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- El Salvador began evacuating residents from flood-prone areas early Tuesday due to heavy rains caused by Hurricane Eta, which made landfall earlier on neighboring Nicaragua's north Caribbean coast as a category 4 tropical cyclone.
El Salvador's Civil Protection Directorate said it evacuated families in Tecoluca, in the department of San Vicente (84 kilometers east of the capital San Salvador), but did not say how many. The town is home to some 26,000 people, according to a 2013 survey.
The director of the National Civil Police, Mauricio Arriaza, said officials were also monitoring the development of the storm in case farm animals need to be evacuated to higher ground.
The Salvadoran government said 1,152 shelters were set up nationwide, 545 of them at schools, as more than half a million Salvadorans in 1,479 communities across the country are considered to be at risk of flooding or landslides due to heavy rains. The Central American country is home to nearly 6.5 million people.
Meanwhile, the Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA) said it was considering temporarily closing the San Salvador International Airport due to strong winds caused by Eta.
Hurricane Eta made landfall early Tuesday in the Nicaraguan town of Puerto Cabezas, with sustained winds of 230 kilometers per hour, according to the director of Meteorology at Nicaragua's National System for Prevention, Mitigation and Attention to Disasters (Sinapred), Marcio Baca.
El Salvador maintains a red alert for the entire country. Enditem