(CNN) — Julia is now a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h), according to a special 7 pm ET update from the National Hurricane Center.
The storm passes between San Andres and the Providencia Islands and is moving west at 28 km/h.
Hurricane Julia is expected to strengthen slightly before hitting the Nicaraguan coast early Sunday.
Along with hurricane-force winds, life-threatening rainfall of 6 to 10 inches (150-250 mm) is possible in Nicaragua, with isolated amounts of up to 15 inches (350 mm).
Those amounts of rain could trigger landslides and flash flooding.
The system formed in the extreme south of the Caribbean, near the La Guajira Peninsula in Colombia.
“Julia is expected to become a hurricane overnight Saturday,” the center said earlier. The official forecast indicates that it will have an intensity at landfall of 136 km / h, which would make Julia a category 1 hurricane.
In Nicaragua, the hurricane watch was upgraded to a hurricane warning from Laguna de Perlas to Puerto Cabezas. A tropical cyclone warning was issued north of Puerto Cabezas to the Honduras-Nicaragua border and south of Laguna de Perlas to Bluefields.
For Colombia, this Saturday a maximum hurricane alarm alert was issued for San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, so hurricane conditions may occur in Colombian territory. The Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Ideam) indicated that sustained winds of 119 kilometers per hour or more are likely to occur and strong and extreme accumulated rainfall, electrical storms, gusts of wind, and storm surge are expected in the area. of the archipelago.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro indicated on his Twitter account that they are on “maximum alert” and that “all hotel infrastructure must make room for shelters for vulnerable populations.”
We are on high alert. It is highly likely that storm Julia will become a hurricane and reach San Andrés between 7 and 9 at night.
PMU ready from 4 am. The entire hotel infrastructure must open space for shelters for the vulnerable population.
– Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) October 8, 2022
Venezuela suffers havoc due to the passage of the tropical depression
The rains due to the passage through Venezuela of tropical depression number 13 (previously tropical wave 41) left one person dead in Sucre state, at least four injured —two in Caracas and two in Carabobo state, located in northwestern Venezuela— , about 22,000 houses affected —of which some 17 collapsed totally or partially— and fallen trees, the Vice Minister for Risk Management and Civil Protection, Carlos Pérez Ampueda, reported Thursday on the state channel VTV.
The official assured that more than 20,000 officials were deployed in the national territory as a preventive measure.
He also warned that, while the intense rainfall continues, the population should stay away from rivers, beaches and areas that present risks, noting that the heavy rains and electrical storms will continue for the next 24 hours.
This Thursday night, President Nicolás Maduro offered a balance of the rains recorded in the last hours, in which he assured that the most affected areas are the central, Andean and llanera zones, after the tropical wave became a tropical depression .
Earlier, the Vice President of Citizen Security, Remigio Ceballos, stressed that they are constantly monitoring the weather conditions that are affecting the Capital District and states such as La Guaira, Aragua and some plains areas, among others.
From the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (Inameh) they explained that the rains are already affecting the eastern coast and that they have been gaining strength by becoming a tropical depression, with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour and strong gusts and moderate to moderate rainfall. powerful.
Osmary Hernández contributed to this report.