Saturday 4 February 2023

Cold Front Leaves Theee Dead, 35 Houses Roofless, Thousands Without Electricity

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4 February 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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A cold front that has gripped the entire country since Saturday has caused three death, the closure of Ruta 32 (San Jose – Limon), 35 houses to lose their roofs and numerous electrical power cuts in various areas, leaving thousands in the dark.

Infograph from La Nacion, from the CNE Dec. 10. Updates available at cne.go.cr

At 4:00 pm Sunday, the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE) – national emergencies commission – accounted for a total of 179 reported incidents throughout the country, among them strong winds in 171 different places. By Sunday late Sunday night, the number had risen to 300.

A glimpse of what has been happening around the country:

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The Ruta 32 was reopened temporarily for a few hours and then closed again at 7:00 pm. The CNE says it will reopened this morning, but did not give details on the time, all depends on the weather.

In Puerto Viejo de Limon, a family of 5 were trapped inside their home after a tree fell. The Cruz Roja (Red Cross) de Talamanaca reported the family was in stable condition.

In Chiquita de Cahuita, Limon, an elderly Swiss couple died when a tree fell on the cabin they slept in, caused by the strong winds. The tourists were identified as Marie Louise Balmere and Rodolf Balmere, both 70 yeard old. The incident occurred at 1:44 am Sunday.

The third death occurred in Caldera, Esparaza, at 8:20 am when a tree fell on a cyclist. David Ureña Arias, 31, died from multiple injuries sustained from the falling tree.

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At the Earth University, in Guacimo, Limon, a trailer flipped on Saturday after impacted by a falling tree branch hitting the truck, causing the driver to lose control and ended up on the side of the road. The two occupants of the rig were trapped, but freed by first responders from Guapiles and Siquirres.

In Tilaran, Guanacaste, winds reached up +/- 100 kilometers per hour.

Map by the Bomberos (fire deparment) of the reports

In the Central Valley winds were reported in excess of 60 km/h.

In Guanacaste, in Playa Flamingo, strong winds capsized a fishing boat with four people, who were rescued by the Coastguard.

Four people were rescued by the Coastgauard from a capsized fishing boat in Guanacaste
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At the international airport in San Jose, although operations remained normal, throughout passengers getting off arriving flights reported being shaken as their airplane was thrown about by the strong winds during landing.

In the Central Valley, more the CNFL – the national power and light company – reported more than 20,000 subscribers without electrical power. This morning (Monday) thousands are still without power, as the strong winds continue and in some parts the valley, there is rain.

The strong winds, cold and scattered rain, according to the national weather service, the Instituto Meteriologico Nacional (IMN) are expected to continue to Wednesday.

The CNE is maintaining the yellow alert for the entire country.

Recommendations

At home:

  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • Bring in plants and any objects that can be tossed about by the winds
  • Avoid going out unless necessary

In your vehicle:

  • Don’t drive unless necessary
  • If you do drive, do so with extreme caution and be aware of the fallen debris that could include tree trunks, branches, and electrical cables
  • Strong winds can affect your driving, wind gusts can swerve your vehicle

On the street:

  • Keep an eye on trees and power lines
  • Don’t use trees and concrete walls for protection against the wind
  • Keep an ear and eyes to local warnings and news reports
  • If in danger, call the 9-1-1 emergency service

Photos from various sources including, La Nacion, Crhoy.com, La Teja, Telenoticias, MSP, Coastguard, Bomberos and the Cruz Roja

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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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