SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Hurricane Otto has caused an unknown number of deaths since hitting Central America, Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis said late on Thursday.

Otto slammed into the coast of Central America near the border of Nicaragua and Costa Rica earlier on Thursday, dumping torrential rains on the region and prompting thousands of people to be evacuated.

"I regret to inform (you) ... that there are people dead and missing," Solis told a news conference, adding it was too early to say how many people had died.

(Reporting by George Rodriguez, Writing by Dave Graham and Natalie Schachar; Editing by Gareth Jones)