Saturday, October 20th, 2012 – QNews Costa Rica | Source: Fijatevos

While a drought is causing worry about low water levels at hydroelectric dams, in Santa Cruz the weather appeared to be trying to make up the deficit all at once.

Torrential rains hit the area for 30 consecutive hours Thursday, causing rivers to overflow their banks and a thousand Santa Cruz canton residents to flee their homes.

Red Cross administrator Miguel Brenes said six refuges set up in Santa Cruz sheltered 54 families. The town on the Nicoya Peninsula of Guanacaste province, was recently damaged by a massive earthquake.

The Meteorological Institute said the cloudbursts were caused by a tropical depression in the Caribbean. The low barometric pressure in the area pulled water-ladened rainclouds in from the Pacific, drenching the coastal area. Rainy conditions continued Friday.

Elsewhere in the country, the rains closed roads and caused rivers and usually dry ditches to overflow. On the central and southern Pacific coast at Osa and Golfito, as well as Perez Zeledon, Alajuela and Herredia cantons, flood conditions prevailed.

But the Santa Cruz area was most affected, with 34 communities and 595 homes flooded, three bridges washed out, highways temporarily closed nearly 500 persons fleeing to refuges.

However, damage was minimal outside of the Pacific area. The National Emergency Commission reported that some rain-soaked areas were cut off from aid. Some 20 families in the ironically named Rio Seco (dry river) area were forced to take refuge in the home of an understanding neighbor.