Storm Eta rumbles west across Caribbean toward Nicaragua

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Tropical storm Eta barreled west through the Caribbean on Sunday, bound for Nicaragua and Honduras, where it is expected to unleash heavy rain and hurricane-force winds in the coming week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The storm is forecast to strengthen over the coming two days and make contact with the northeast coast of Nicaragua and eastern Honduras on Tuesday, the Miami-based NHC said.

Latest projections forecast Eta will by then be a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, blowing winds of up to 85 miles per hour (137 kilometers per hour). By morning, Eta was about 225 miles (360 km) south of Kingston, Jamaica, moving west at 15 mph (24 kph) with sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph), the NHC said.

Through Thursday evening, downpours from Eta may cause flooding in parts of Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Central America, and potentially landslides, the center added.

Nicaragua’s government has issued a hurricane warning from the Honduras-Nicaragua border to Sandy Bay Sirpi. Honduras has put out a tropical storm warning from Punta Patuca to the border with Nicaragua. (Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Daniel Wallis)