The National Hurricane Center (CNH) from the United States warned about Tropical storm Otto: it would bring severe repercussions to Costa Rica.
The phenomenon is almost 500 kilometers from the coast of Limón. Nevertheless, its strengthening is forecast in the next 48 hours with possible repercussions for Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Otto is heading west with winds up to 86 km / h. If the projections are met, the storm would become a hurricane on November 23rd.
The eye of the storm would travel parallel to the borders between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, crossing both countries from coast to coast.
US meteorologists recommended that Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and the islands of San Andrés and Providencia continue to monitor Otto’s progress. However, at the moment, no warnings were issued for the coasts.
Update – Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Hurricane Otto
The U.S. Embassy in San Jose alerts U.S. citizens living or traveling in Costa Rica of the possibility of heavy rains, strong winds, flooding, and mudslides throughout Costa Rica as a result of Hurricane Otto. Otto is currently located east of Puerto Limon in the Caribbean Sea and is approaching Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Costa Rica has a three-level warning system (Green, Yellow, and Red), and the Costa Rica National Emergency Commission (Comision Nacional de Emergencias, or CNE) reports that a Red alert (the highest) is in place in Costa Rica’s Caribbean region and northern zone. A Yellow alert is in effect for the rest of the country.
As of the morning of Tuesday, November 22, the Government of Costa Rica has ordered the mandatory evacuation of approximately 4,000 people in areas of the northern Caribbean region. These areas include Tortuguero, Barra de Parismina, Boca Tapada, Boca Pacuare, Barra del Colorado, and Calero. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid these areas. Shelters are being set up in Siquirres and Guapiles. U.S. citizens are also advised to exercise caution wherever they are in Costa Rica, as the hurricane may affect the entire country for several days as road, visibility, and river conditions may worsen. The U.S. Embassy in San Jose has advised its personnel to limit their travel to the Central Valley area as of Wednesday, November 23 and through the weekend.
U.S. citizens are advised to monitor local media for updates or possible changes to weather conditions and to follow any instructions and/or warnings issued by the Costa Rican government. Preparations to protect life and property in any storm or weather-related event should be considered. U.S. citizens should carry their travel documents (i.e. U.S. passport book) with them at all times or secure them by placing them in a safe, waterproof location. If you must travel during this time, please take reasonable precautions such as avoiding entering swiftly moving water. Drivers should remain vigilant for possible landslides, flooding, and reduced visibility, particularly in mountainous areas. Due to the potential severity of the storm, power outages are a possibility, and communications systems, including cell phones, may be affected in certain areas. U.S. citizens may need to shelter in place and should be prepared with sufficient provisions (food, water, working flashlights, etc.) for such a circumstance.
To follow the storm’s path and follow updates, please visit the National Weather Service’s website (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php?basin=atlc&fdays=2 , the CNE website http://www.cne.go.cr, and the CNE Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CNECostaRica/. Costa Rica-specific information is also available on the National Meteorological Institute (Instituto Meteorologico Nacional, or IMN) Twitter feed https://twitter.com/imncr?lang=en. For the status of roads, which can change frequently, please consult the transit police website http://www.transito.go.cr/estadorutas/index.html.
The U.S. Embassy will continue to monitor the situation and will issue updated messages as necessary. U.S. citizens in affected areas are urged to monitor media reports and follow all official instructions.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Costa Rica enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
U.S. Citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s, Bureau of Consular Affairs website (www.travel.state.gov), where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found. The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review the “Traveler’s Checklist,” which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad, and enroll with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The U.S. Embassy in San Jose is located at Avenida 0, Calle 120, Rohrmoser, and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., (telephone number: 2519-2590). The U.S. Embassy will be closed for regular business on Thursday, November 25 in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, the emergency after-hours number for the U.S. Embassy is 2519-2000.