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Flooding in many areas

Central America escapes major damage from hurricane and earthquake

According to the NHC, National Hurricane Center, hurricane Otto weakened rapidly after hitting the southeastern coast of Nicaragua. This morning it was down graded to a tropical storm again. There are still floods in both Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis, mentioned late Thursday night that many people died and there are still people missing. It's still too early to give exact numbers.

Right after the storm landed, an earthquake struck about 150 kilometers from the southwest of Puerto Triunfo, El Salvador. It was at a depth of 10.3 km according to the US Geological Survey. However, so far there no reports of major damage. For a while there were some tsunami alerts, however the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center published that the Tsunami threat has passed.

Oirsa, Organismo Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria, shares in the Nicaraguan press that they forsee problems in the banana and pineapple sectors due to the saturation of the soil and as well with fungus and bacterias.

According to Sieca (La Secretaría de Integración Económica Centroamericana), the export of fruit from Central America was led by Costa Rica last year. They exported 49.7% of the total exports in that region.

Panama is already noticing the effects of the tropical storm Otto. It didn't hit the country itself, but it gave a period of bad weather and lots of rains for about two weeks. Potato, onion, carrot, beetroot, tomato, paprika, citrus, papaya, melon and watermelon are some of the products that have already seen a price increase between 40% and 50% according to the Panamanian press. However, it's expected to get even worse. The rains haven't been that bad in all the producing areas, but it has affected for example, the onions which could not be dried and there have been less light hours which will affect crop growth.