The Latest: Hurricane Otto crawls westward over Caribbean

The Latest on tropical weather in the Caribbean (all times local):

7 p.m.

Late-season Hurricane Otto is crawling westward toward Central America's Caribbean coast with little change in strength.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Otto is now centered about 230 miles (370 kilometers) east of Limon, Costa Rica and moving to the west at 2 mph (4 kph).

It's also about 295 miles (475 kilometers) east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua.

Forecasters say the hurricane has top sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) and should gain more strength in coming days until landfall.

___

4 p.m.

Forecasters say Otto has gained hurricane status in the Carribbean as it edges closer to parts of Central America.

The Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center says Otto strengthened Tuesday and now has top sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph).

The forecasters say the storm is centered about 235 miles (375 kilometers) east of Limon, Costa Rica.

Otto is also about 305 miles (485 kilometers) east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua. It is moving west at 2 mph (4 kph) after being almost stationary earlier Tuesday.

The hurricane center says Colombia has issued a tropical storm warning for San Andres Island. Nicaragua has posted a tropical storm watch for that Central American nation from Bluefields to Sandy Bay Sirpi. Some other areas in the region also under a tropical storm watch or warning.

Forecasters say more strengthening is expected in coming days.

___

2:20 p.m.

Civil defense officials in Panama say the country has already seen three deaths blamed on late-season Tropical Storm Otto.

The agency says two people died in landslides, and a child was killed when a tree fell on a car outside a school in Panama City.

Panama announced Tuesday it was cancelling classes it began to release water from locks and lakes feeding the Panama Canal.

Otto is gained strength in the Caribbean and could become a hurricane soon as it heads for a possible Thursday landfall in Costa Rica or Nicaragua.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm has top sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) and is nearly stationary about 245 miles (395 kilometers) east of Limon, Costa Rica..

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 22 Jan 2017 19:13:23 Processing Time: 517ms