Otto, the tropical storm that returned to Category 1 hurricane status on Wednesday evening, has already begun affecting parts of Panama and Nicaragua. The sixth Atlantic storm of the season has forced thousands of Costa Ricans to evacuate their homes near the Caribbean coast.
Speaking Wednesday morning, President Luís Guillermo Solís said that evacuations issued for certain places under red alert were mandatory and urged people to not try and ride out the weather if they live in those areas.
“We are not going to allow the loss of lives for material reasons,” Solís said at a Wednesday morning gathering with the country’s security officials.
A mudslide and a fallen tree in Panama lead to three deaths Tuesday from high winds and rain caused by Otto.
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