November 22, 2016 / 9:10 PM / 3 years ago

Storm Otto becomes hurricane off Nicaragua's Caribbean coast

Tropical Storm Otto is pictured forming approximately 175 miles east-southeast of San Andreas Island in the Caribbean Sea in this November 21, 2016 satellite handout photo. NOAA/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Storm Otto became a hurricane off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua on Tuesday, the U.S.-based National Hurricane Center said, with additional strengthening expected over the next couple of days.

Otto was 305 miles (491 km) east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua, at around 1600 EST, the NHC said.

The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h) and is expected to approach the coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua on Thursday, the Miami-based agency said.

Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler

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