- Title: Nicaraguans brace for Hurricane Otto
- Date: 24th November 2016
- Summary: BLUEFIELDS, NICARAGUA (NOVEMBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) RAIN FALLING IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) TREES BLOWING IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) CARTS BLOWN OVER IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) RAIN FALLING/STREETLAMP IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) PERSON WALKING IN RAIN GEAR PAST BLOWN CARTS IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) GENERAL VIEW OF STREET IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) EXTERIOR OF HOUSE IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) GENERAL VIEW OF STREET IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) ADVERTISING BANNERS HANGING OVER STREET IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) EXTERIOR OF BUILDINGS WITH RAIN FALLING IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) TREE BLOWING IN EARLY MORNING HOURS (DARKNESS) PALM TREES BLOWING AS MORNING DAWNS (LIGHT) TREE BLOWING AS MORNING DAWNS (LIGHT) EXTERIOR OF HOMES AS RAIN FALLS (LIGHT)
- Embargoed: 9th December 2016 15:04
- Keywords: Hurricane Otto storm rain wind evacuees
- Location: BLUFIELDS, NICARAGUA
- City: BLUFIELDS, NICARAGUA
- Country: Nicaragua
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Wind/Hurricane/Typhoons/Tornadoes
- Reuters ID: LVA00159T1YYV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Rains lashed empty looking streets in Bluefields, a coastal city in Nicaragua's southeast, as Otto, a Category 2 hurricane, churned toward the Caribbean country on Thursday (November 24).
Eastern coastal communities were evacuated as people braced for the storm to make landfall later in the day.
At 7 a.m. EST, Otto was about 70 miles (113 km) north of the Costa Rican city of Limon, blowing 105 mile-per-hour (169 km-per-hour) winds, according to the U.S.-based National Hurricane Center.
The storm was moving west at 8 mph (13 kph), the NHC said, and was expected to make landfall somewhere between Nicaragua and Costa Rica's east coasts later on Thursday.
Rainfall in Bluefields 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.
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 weaken to a tropical storm by tonight," 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.
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