Otto becomes a Category 2 hurricane, approaches Caribbean coast

November 24, 2016

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San José awoke to light gray skies, perfectly normal for a November morning, but also the news that Hurricane Otto has become a Category 2 storm and is approaching the Caribbean coast.

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) announced in a statement at 9 a.m. that the storm remains strong and is approaching Costa Rica’s coast with winds of up to 175 km (approximately 108 miles) per hour. At the time of the statement Otto was located roughly 120 km north-northeast of Limón, moving west at a speed of 15 km her hour.

The CNE reported that rains are increasing gradually in the Northern Caribbean and Northern Zone, less so in the Southern Caribbean. Lighter rains are reported in the Central Valley, mountainous Pacific Regions and the Nicoya Peninsula.

The center of the hurricane is expected to make landfall between 9 and 11 a.m. Heavy rainfall and moderate to strong winds are expected throughout Costa Rica, according to the CNE.

The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) recommends that all residents keep in touch with their National Emergency Committees and keep up with weather reports. Boaters and swimmers in the Limón area, all those near rivers and other bodies of water, the aeronautical sector and drivers are asked to be extremely cautious.

Authorities from the Juan Santamaría International Airport reported that the airport is open today, but that travelers contact their airlines directly because delays are possible.

Read also: What to do as Costa Rican braces for Hurricane Otto – including how to donate

National emergency declared; public agencies to close

PHOTOS: Hurricane Otto begins path of destruction through Central America

If you have information, community news or photos on this developing story that you can share with us in the coming hours and days, please contact The Tico Times via Facebook or by email at kstanley@ticotimes.net.

Track Hurricane Otto’s path in real time:

See what people in Costa Rica are posting on social media about Otto:

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