Ports in Panama Brace for Hurricane Otto

Image Courtesy: Manzanillo International Terminal

Some ports and terminals in Panama including Port Cristobal and Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) have ceased operations as Hurricane Otto progresses through Central America, GAC informed.

In addition, harbor movements have been suspended in the region.

Panamanian national authorities have issued a red alert nationwide, elevating safety concerns.

Although Panama Canal transits are currently continuing, attendance at Balboa and Cristobal anchorages are experiencing delays and interruptions, according to GAC.

Due to excessive rainfall, the Panama Canal has opened 13 of 14 of the Gatun water dam gates (spillway) to prevent excessive flooding.

There are several delays and setbacks due to both the strong wind and constant, heavy rains both at Balboa and Cristobal.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a hurricane watch for the Costa Rica/Panama border and the Southern Nicaragua, and it is understood that the constant, heavy rain may continue for at least another 24 hours as tropical storm Otto progresses.

Hurricane Otto is centered about 80 nautical miles north-northeast of Limon, Costa Rica, and about 95 nautical miles east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua, moving west at 8 knots. Maximum sustained wind speed is 75 knots with gusts to 90 knots, according to NHC.

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