Hurricane Beta hits Nicaragua's Caribbean coast

Early Sunday hurricane Beta hit Nicaragua's Caribbean coast, sending thousands fleeing to schools and churches for shelter. Beta is the 23rd named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Powerful winds and heavy rain buffetted this small port city of some 60,000 where local authorities announced a curfew to prevent looting and rushed to cut off electricity citywide in hopes of avoiding potential injuries.

At 8.00 am (1300 GMT), &to= - 28 Oct 2005' target=_blank>Beta ranked as a Category Two storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale out of a maximum of five, with sustained winds of up to 105 miles (169 kilometers) per hour, according to the US National Hurricane Center in Miami. Storm surge and rain-triggered flooding were both expected, it warned, reports Forbes.

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