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Novorossiysk, Russia
Costa Rica & Nicaragua
Kiel Canal, Germany
Pier reconstruction work
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, Novorossiysk, Russia
Pier No.2 at Sheskharis Oil Terminal is undergoing maintenance and reconstruction. The work started on 18 November and in expected to be completed in March 2018.Pier No.1A will be used as a replacement for Pier №2 during the works period. Tankers will be handled as per “Technician requirements for tankers alongside pier №1А of Sheskharis Oil Terminal”.For information about operations in Russia contact GAC Russia at russia@gac.com

Red Alert issued for Hurricane Otto
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, Panama
As Hurricane Otto progresses through Central America, Panamanian national authorities have elevated safety concerns by issuing a RED ALERT nationwide. Harbour movements have been suspended until further notice and some ports and terminals (such as Cristobal and MIT) have suspended operations.Although Panama Canal transits are currently continuing, attendance at Balboa and Cristobal anchorages are experiencing delays and interruptions.Effects already seen include flooding, landslides and falling trees and branches. Due to excessive rainfall the Panama Canal has opened 13 of 14 of the Gatun water dam gates (spillway) to prevent excessive flooding.

There are several delays and setbacks due to both the strong wind (gusts recorded in excess of 70 mph) and constant, heavy rains both at Balboa and Cristobal.

The National Hurricane Center (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/) has issued a hurricane watch for the Costa Rica/Panama border and the Southern Nicaragua, and we understand that the constant, heavy rain may continue for at least another 24 hours as tropical storm Otto progresses.

In light of the worsening conditions, GAC-Wilford & McKay yesterday (22 November) evacuated non-essential staff from its Cristobal office, leaving it manned by watch staff. Responses to emails may be delayed, and contact should be by mobile phones for the time being, as below:
Omiros Diamantis, Operations – Mobile: +50766133447
Jorge J. Corredoira, Operations – Mobile: +50766158170
Fernando Chang, Operations Manager – Mobile: +50766140489

For information about operations in Panama contact GAC-Wilford & McKay at gac-wilfordmckay.panama@gac.com

Hurricane Otto heading towards Costa Rice & Nicaragua
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, Costa Rica & Nicaragua
At 400am EST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Otto was located near latitude 10.9 North, longitude 80.4 West……On the forecast track, the center of Otto will reach the Pacific coast of southern Nicaragua or northern Costa Rica Thursday night [24 November] or early Friday [25 November].Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is expected before Otto makes landfall on Thursday, with weakening expected after the center moves inland.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km)…

Outer rain bands from Otto are expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 4-8 inches over San Andres and Providencia islands, and the higher terrain of central and western Panama and southern Costa Rica through today. Total rainfall of 6-12 inches, with isolated amounts of 15-20 inches, can be expected across northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua through Thursday.  These rains will likely result in life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

Hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning area on Thursday, with tropical storm conditions expected to begin overnight tonight or Thursday morning, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.  Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch area on Thursday.
Tropical storm conditions are expected within warning area in Nicaragua tonight and Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area in Panama today and in San Andres later today. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area along the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua by Thursday night.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large and destructive waves could raise water levels by as much 2-4 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore flow within the hurricane warning area.

Swells generated by Otto are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions over the next several days along the coasts of Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

(For information about operations in the Americas, contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at hub.us@gac.com)

Source: Extracts from National Hurricane Center, Miami Fl, Hurricane Otto Advisory No.10 issued at 400am EST on Wednesday November 23, 2016

Lock closure for maintenance
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, Kiel Canal, Germany
The Kiel Canal Authority advises that the New Big North lock at Kiel-Holtenau will be closed for maintenance works between 0800 and 1300 hours tomorrow (24 November), and between 0800 and 1300 hours from 29 November to 1 December.The New Big South lock will remain in service.(For information about operations in Germany contact the GAC UK Hub Agency Centre at hub.gb@gac.com)

Source: Sartori & Berger, Germany – GAC agent

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