Hurricane Otto rumbled toward the Caribbean shores of Costa Rica and Nicaragua on Thursday Nov. 24, prompting evacuations in eastern coastal communities as people braced for the storm to hit land within hours, Reuters reported.
At 10 a.m. EST, the Category 2 hurricane was about 75 miles (121 km) north-northwest of the Costa Rican city of Limon, blowing 110 mile-per-hour (177 km-per-hour) winds, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.
In Bluefields, a city in Nicaragua’s southeastern Mosquito Coast, rainfall began early on Thursday morning, with local forecasters suggesting the storm would hit around midday. By late Wednesday evening, local authorities had evacuated 600 people, with plans to move a further 7,000 into storm shelters.
“We left because we don’t want to die; we love our lives,” said 53-year-old Carmen Alvarado, who was bunkering down in a school in Bluefields. She was among the 206 people evacuated from the coastal community of El Bluff.
“The fear there is that we were surrounded by water,” said 42-year-old Senelia Aragon, standing next to Alvarado, preparing a breakfast of flour tortillas with beans.
Bluefields, once an infamous pirate hangout, was smashed by Category 4 Hurricane Joan in 1988, a devastating storm that destroyed many of the town’s 19th century wooden houses.
Otto was moving west at 9 mph (14 kph), the NHC said, and was expected to plow into the coast somewhere close to the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border in the next few hours.
On the Corn Islands, which face Bluefields and are popular with tourists, 1,400 people had been evacuated to shelters, with another 1,000 more moved from Punta Gorda, which lies south along the coast from Bluefields, local emergency services said.
Government officials said there had been some people along the country’s southeast coast who had refused to evacuate, but the officials declined to say how many.
The NHC said Otto may well strengthen before hitting land.
“Weakening is expected after landfall, and Otto is forecast to become a tropical storm by tonight and additional weakening is anticipated thereafter,” the NHC said.
Total rainfall of 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm), with isolated amounts of 15 to 20 inches, is expected across northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua on Thursday.
more recommended stories
With Mexico Tourism Board closing, private sector seeks promotion options
After months of speculations, the Mexico.
Municipalities of Quintana Roo committed to save the Melipona Bee
Stephane Palmieri, president of the Maya.
Public Security agents arrest 9 Colombian armed suspects in the north of Mérida
MÉRIDA, YUC.- After intense police operations.
“Get the f— out of my country.” -Video-
Once again, racism in the United.
Mexican national dies in U.S. Border Patrol custody
(Reuters) – A 45-year-old man from.
Islas Marías… from prison to tourism – AMLO –
While some applaud the decision, others.
Super Snow Moon Tonight Is the Biggest Full Moon of 2019
The second installment of this winter’s.
Progreso´s tragedy… The sad aftermath
PROGRESO YUCATAN.- Pedro Alfonso López Cabrera,.
Tycoons tell AMLO that unions are ‘extorting’ businesses
(Reuters) – A group representing some.
Merida to host the World Peace Nobel Prize Summit
Mexico City and Querétaro requested the.