Another storm - Nate - hits Central America

  • 06/10/2017
Residents look at a road partially collapsed following heavy rains of Tropical Storm Nate
Residents look at a road partially collapsed following heavy rains of Tropical Storm Nate. Photo credit: Reuters

Tropical Storm Nate has unleashed intense rainfall across much of Central America, leaving at least three dead in Costa Rica and several missing in neighbouring Nicaragua, according to local officials.

Exxon Mobil Corp said it is evacuating all staff from its Lena platform in the US Gulf of Mexico ahead of Nate, which is expected to strengthen into a hurricane and make landfall on the Louisiana coast early on Sunday.

Nate was about 48km northwest of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, on Thursday (local time) and moving northwest at a speed of 15km/h, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 64km/h.

Costa Rica's government declared a state of emergency, closing schools and all other non-essential services while emergency officials reported three killed due to the heavy rains, including one child.

Highways were closed due to mudslides and power outages were also reported in parts of Costa Rica, where authorities deployed more than 3500 soldiers to help residents.

In Nicaragua, three people have been reported missing and schools also shut due to the rainfall. Some 800 people were evacuated from Cayos Misquitos located off the country's Caribbean coast.

At least six people died in bad weather last weekend in Panama after a landslide struck near the border with Costa Rica, while another six lives were lost in El Salvador last week, according to civil protection officials in each country.

Since the hurricane season began in May, Honduras has been the region's hardest-hit country with at least 32 dead, followed by Guatemala with 26 deaths.