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
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Track Hurricane Otto’s path in real time: