MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Hurricane Beta barreled onto Nicaragua's central Caribbean coast Sunday, ripping off roofs, toppling trees and flooding low neighborhoods before weakening to a tropical storm. Heavy rain in Honduras caused four rivers to overflow and damaged crops.
No deaths or injuries were immediately reported. Beta came ashore near the remote town of Sandy Bay Sirpi, 200 miles northeast of Managua, the capital, as a Category 2 hurricane with 105-mph winds, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
By midafternoon, it had weakened to a tropical storm with 65-mph winds as it moved inland, dumping up to 15 inches of rain and raising fears of lethal mudslides. While powerful, Beta was a small storm, with its initial hurricane-force winds extending outward only about 15 miles, the hurricane center said.
Jack Howard, mayor of the central coastal town of Laguna de Perlas, told local television that 700 people were trapped in Tasbapauni, a town separated from the mainland by a lagoon.