Hurricane Otto strikes the Caribbean

On 21 Monday 2016 the Otto tropical storm formed in the Caribbean and could reach the hurricane category. The U.S. National Hurricane Center estimated the storm to reach Nicaragua and Costa Rica on Thursday. The storm might strength within the next 48 hours therefore becoming a hurricane in the following days. Reuters reported that the almost-stationary storm, with sustained winds of 80 kilometers per hour, was some 282 km east-southeast of the San Andres Island. For more information on this storm click here

On Wednesday 23 November 2016 the Costa Rica Government declared the national state of emergency due to the arrival of Otto, that reached the hurricane level. The red alert was extended to 18 cantons of the country. ONU-SPIDER, in contact with the Costa Rica Embassy in Austria, is offering technical advisory during this crisis. 

According to The Guardian, Otto hit the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica as a remarkable powerful late-season event. In both countries schools were closed and people were evacuated for the rest of the week. The National Meteorological Institute in Costa Rica noted that this is the first time a hurricane strikes the country since records-keeping began. It is the first hurricane that hits the southernmost area in Central America. More information from the Guardian can be accessed here