Bocas del Toro is being prepared to face hurricane Otto

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  • Wed, 11/23/2016 - 10:14
Heavy machines are being sent to Bocas del Toro
  • Heavy machines are being sent to Bocas del Toro
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PANAMA CITY.- Panama prepares the tourist Bocas del Toro, which is likely to suffer the effects of the arrival to the mainland of Hurricane Otto, with the evacuation of patients from a hospital and other measures, due to the storm that left seven dead in the country and ten missing.

Otto, who moves in the Caribbean at a speed of 4 kilometers per hour to the west, towards Costa Rica and Nicaragua, became a hurricane when reaching winds of 120 km / h, and is expected to touch Thursday at noon the coasts of those countries.

Although the phenomenon is not expected to hit Panama, Bocas del Toro is under "hurricane alert" and the rest of the Caribbean coast is on a red alert, according to President Juan Carlos Varela.

The 12 hospitalization and emergency patients of the Hospital Isla Colón were transferred preventively to the J.Ibarra school, according to the latest report from the authorities.

The president explained at a press conference that in Bocas del Toro, 19 hostels have been set up in preparation and the units of the FTC, composed of various security and rescue units, have been increased to 600.

In the latest FTC report, the director of the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC), José Donderis, recalled that while Otto was a tropical storm, it left three people dead, one missing in the Utivé River in the province of Panama, and three others missing from a boat that capsized in the Caribbean province of Colon.

These victims are joined by a 14-year-old girl who was dragged over the weekend by a river grown in Panama's interior due to heavy rains, and her body was found Monday by rescuers.

The FTC also reiterated that classes are suspended in all public and private schools in the country.

Donderis said that so far there are no overflowing rivers in the country, but that the level of saturation of the soils is " worrying" because slight rains can cause landslides in different vulnerable points.

In the province of Chiriquí, which was the first to suffer the rains of Otto, the number of people evacuated from their homes remains at 334. EFE

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