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Deadly Hurricane Descends on Nicaragua, Costa Rica

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Screen capture from Windytv.com

Thursday, 10:30pm – Hurricane Otto is within minutes of making landfall, bearing down on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua a few km/h shy of a Category 3 hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reports the Category 2 Hurricane Otto with sustained wind speeds of 175 km/h (178 to make it a category 3).

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Boaco, Chontales, Rivas and Granada are on maximum alert

The government has ordered evacuations along parts of their Caribbean coasts, most notably the Caribbean coastal city of Bluefields, a city of 45,000 inhabitants, closed schools and mobilised emergency crews.

Otto was projected to slowly pass along the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border, a mostly rural path that would miss the two countries’ populated areas, but at the last-minute it turned slightly north, south of Bluefields who was hit by category 2 Joan in 1988.

Some Nicaraguans near the southern border were crossing into Costa Rica, hoping it would be safer there, according to locals.

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Otto has already proved deadly in Panama, where its outer band of rains and wind caused a mudslide that killed four people on Tuesday. This morning the rains are still affecting the “canalero” (canal) country.

Otto is a rare, late-appearing hurricane in the Atlantic storm season, which runs from June to the end of November.

It is also on an unusually southern trajectory.

A previous, far-stronger hurricane, Matthew, devastated parts of southern Haiti early last month, killing 546 people and leaving nearly 175,000 homeless.

 

With files from AFP/ec

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