COSTA RICA NEWS (3:20am) — It was a nightmare for hundreds last night, trapped in their vehicles in between landslides on the Ruta 32 (the San José – Limón highway) through the Braulio Carrillo, in the area known as the  Zurquí, due to heavy rains Thursday afternoon and evening.

Photo posted on Facebook by one of the drivers trapped in between the landslides on Ruta 32 last night.
Photo posted on Facebook by one of the drivers trapped in between the landslides on Ruta 32 last night.

More than 50 vehicles, including two ambulances, two Tránsito (traffic police) patrol cars, four buses and several trucks, were stuck until machinery arrived at the scene to start removing the debris strewn across the road.

According to the director of the Policia de Tránisto, Mario Calderón, up to 400 people had been trapped.

The Cruz Roja (Red Cross) keeping in constant communication with some of the trapped, said it had no injuries to report.

The worst of the landslides occurred around kilometre 36, where a landslide swept away a tractor-trailer cab. The driver was rescued, fortunately not suffering serious injury.

Calderón said the work this morning is to clear the road to allow normal traffic to move again.

The alternate, Ruta 10,  the road through Turrialba, has also been hit by several landslides, however, it has not affected vehicular traffic. At least not yet.

An important reminded to avoid the Rutas 32 and 27 (San José – Caldera) during heavy rainfall. Both roads, the first the major route to the Caribbean and the second to the Pacific, experience serious problems with landslides and water on the road.

The months of September and October are the worst months of the rainy season, accounting for almost 20% of all rainfall during the six months of the season that ends in November.