Mnay parts of the southern zone and Caribbean coast are already under water from the weekend's Tropical Storm
Mnay parts of the southern zone and Caribbean coast are already under water from the weekend’s Tropical Storm

Q COSTA RICA NEWS – Tropical Depression Sixteen will become a Hurricane Otto on Wednesday heading into the northeastern part of Costa Rica and southeastern Nicaragua, says the U.S. based National Hurricane Centre (NHC).

The almost-stationary storm is about 282 kilometres (175 miles) east-southeast of the San Andres island,  with maximum sustained winds of 80 km/h (50 mp/h), according to the NHC.

Tracking map for TD 16 as of 10 AM EST Monday, November 21, 2016.
Tracking map as of 10 AM EST Monday, November 21, 2016 by Weather Undergound

Monday afternoon the government called the population located in the Caribbean slope affected by heavy rains of the last couple days, to a voluntary evacuation as the Tropical Storm that became a tropical Depression converts to Hurricane.

“Those who have the possibility of evacuating voluntarily would be well to do so,” said President Luis Guillermo Solis in a press conference of the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE) – national emergency commission.

Porjected path by Otto from the NHC, graphic by La Nacion
Porjected path by Otto from the NHC, graphic by La Nacion

The call is for communities in the area of Barra del Colorado to Moín, which includes Tortuguero, Parismina, Doce Millas, Playa Bonita and Limón.

According to Solis, authorities are making provisions so that the empty propertieis in the evacuated areas will not fall to vandalism.

President Solis
President Solis sits next to his Minister of Security, Gusta Mata (sitting, far left in black jacket) at a breifing at the National Emergency Commission (CNE) headquarters in San Jose.

Currently, the rivers are at their limits, transit by road has been affected and the weather does not permit the use of helicopters.

Originally the NHC predicted the cyclone’s evolution would take place on Thursday. However, an update Monday afternoon predicted the hurricane would form by 1:00pm Wednesday.

According to Werner Stolz, head of forecasts at the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) – Costa Rica’s National Meteorological Institute, “there is a high probability that Otto will become a hurricane”. The expert explained that the cold front that has been dumping rain on many parts of the country since Saturday will end by Tuesday and Otto will being its journey hitting the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The good news is that once its touches land Otto should lose strength and become a tropical depression that will last until Saturday.

The CNE is working to rehabilitate roads to communities that were isolated in the southern zone, such as Puerto Jimenez.  CNE president Ivan Brenes said Monday that they have reinforced their actions.
The CNE and the Ministry of Transport are working to rehabilitate roads to communities that were isolated in the southern zone, such as Puerto Jimenez.

Possible Impact
According to IMN meteorologist Gabriela Chinchilla, when Otto converts to a hurricane it is expected to dump some 100 litres per square meter of rainfall in the Caribbean and northern zone.

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The southern zone will also feel the impact, where the accumulated rainfall could be between 60 and 120 litres per square metre.

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Meanwhile, for the Central Valley, the forecast is cloudiness and intermittent rains with accumulations of between 25 and 50 litres per square metre.

As for wind speeds, it estimated they could reach 70 km/h or more.

 


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