CARDENAS, Nicaragua – Four people died in Costa Rica during the devastation of Hurricane Otto, whose epicenter has now moved into the Pacific Ocean, while Nicaragua’s Cardenas municipality on the Costa Rican border awoke Friday morning unable to contact the outside world, without electricity and with overflowing rivers.
The four fatalities were caused by a mudslide in Costa Rica’s Guayabo de Bagaces in Guanacaste province, of whom three have been identified: the siblings Denis and Marisa Alvarado Mendes, and Ornaldo Obregon, the woman’s husband. Attempts continue to recover the fourth body, according to the representative of the OIJ investigative agency, Guillermo Fonseca.
Meanwhile, Cardenas Mayor Rodolfo Perez told EFE that three rural communities are cut off from the city due to overflowing rivers, adding that no fatalities have been reported up to now.
Access roads to Cardenas are blocked by fallen trees and mudslides, as well as by the cresting rivers, the mayor said.
Authorities have activated an excavator to clear the roads and bridges, EFE observed.
Hurricane Otto slammed Cardenas municipality in southern Nicaragua Thursday night with heavy rains and gusting winds that left communities without electricity, with damaged roads and roofs, and with fallen trees.
In Cardenas, a municipality of some 5,390 inhabitants located 100 miles (162 kilometers) south of Managua along Lake Nicaragua, hundreds of people remain sheltered in churches, schools and sports courts that were fitted for that purpose as Hurricane Otto approached.
Otto, degraded to a tropical storm in the Pacific Ocean, will continued bringing rain to the Costa Rican-Nicaraguan border this Friday and possibly Saturday, according to the weather forecast.
In Nicaragua, the government said this Thursday that it will maintain the national state of emergency declared because of Otto, which has now moved offshore, leaving 12 homes affected, of which three were destroyed, plus damages to infrastructure.
Otto on Thursday struck the municipality of San Juan de Nicaragua in the extreme southeast of the country as a category-2 hurricane with winds up to 110 mph, the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies, or Ineter, said.
The eye of Hurricane Otto left Nicaragua Thursday afternoon leaving no significant damage or particularly heavy rains, according to the Sinapred emergency management agency, which evacuated almost 10,000 people before Otto hit the country.