Tropical Storm Ernesto is moving quickly toward the southeastern Caribbean and could become a hurricane by Monday, Costa Rica’s National Meteorological Institute (IMN) reported.
IMN Director Bernold Stolz said the storm likely will bring an increase in heavy rains beginning Tuesday afternoon, mostly in the central and southern Pacific regions.
On Monday morning, Ernesto reached eastern Belize, and authorities from the U.S. National Hurricane Center, headquartered in Miami, are tracking its movements to determine if it could evolve into a hurricane in the next 12 or 15 hours, Stoltz said.
He also recommended caution for residents in mountainous areas to avoid landslides, while communities near rivers should be alert to potential flooding. “Rains are likely to be stronger from Tuesday through Thursday if current conditions continue or worsen,” Stoltz said.
Chief Officer of the National Emergency Commission Wálter Fonseca said Friday that officials are monitoring Ernesto’s possible arrival. A green, or preventive, alert is in effect for the whole country.