QCOSTARICA – Hurricane ETA at the doors of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast is the cause of the evacuation of 63 people in Costa Rica’s Pacific coastal towns of Corredores and Parrita.
At 3:50 pm EST, Hurricane ETA, now a category 4, with sustained winds of 209 km/h (130 mph), moving south-west at 14 km/h (9 mph), was located 110 kilometers east of Cabo Gracias a Dios, on the border between Nicaragua and Honduras, some 535 kilometers north of Limón, Costa Rica.
Daniel Chacón Fernández, from Costa Rica’s national weather service, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN), affirmed that ETA will make landfall Monday night.
Hours before, Juan Diego Naranjo Díaz explained that as ETA has been intensifying, cloud bands have formed in the Pacific and this is the indirect effect that we are perceiving in much of Costa Rica.
“We are forecasting rains throughout this day on the Pacific slope, while in the Central Valley cloudy conditions, dense fog banks, and moderate to weak rainfall will prevail. We also pay attention to the mountainous regions of the north and the Caribbean, where it will rain with moderate to heavy intensity,” Naranjo said.
According to Naranjo, the amount of rainfall for the South Pacific is expected to be between 30 and 70 mm (liters per square meter), with maximums of 100 mm in the next six hours, while for the North Pacific rainfall with thunderstorms could generate estimates between 20 and 40 mm.
He added that in the Central Valley, the northern zone and the Caribbean there could be weak and scattered rains, as well as banks of fog in the mountainous sectors.
Wener Stolz, director of the IMN, said that ETA move north into Honduras after making landfall in Nicaragua.
He added that when crossing Honduras it is expected to degrade to a tropical depression and, later, it will return to the Caribbean Sea.
Stolz foresees that the impact for Costa Rica will persist, at least, until Wednesday for most of the national territory.
The first preventive mobilizations of people occured between Sunday night and the first hours of this Monday.
The Ministry of Public Security (MSP) confirmed after midnight that a preventive evacuation was made in La Palma de Puerto Cortés de Osa, Puntarenas, while the Fuerza Publica (National Police) helped with the evacuation of some families in Abrojo north of Ciudad Neily, in Corredores.
The National Emergency Commission (CNE) specified this Monday afternoon that 55 people from various communities of Corredores were evacuated, 10 of them are in a shelter set up in the Mantantial de Esperanza church, in Ciudad Neily, while another 45 decided to go to the homes of relatives.
Meanwhile, in Palo Seco de Parrita a shelter was set up at the Manglar Research Center for eight people.
Unnecessary travel on roads is recommended as some roads have already been affected by landslides due to the rains.
One of them is the Internamerican Sur or Ruta 2, specifically at kilometer 117, which is located in Hortensia de Páramo de Pérez Zeledón.
The National Highway Council (Conavi) explained that at that point there is a lot of falling material, as crews work on removing debris from the roadway.
“The rains and saturation of soils have made the area very unstable, which is why there are many material slides. It should be noted that most of the problems or damages are occurring in private properties in which Conavi cannot intervene immediately, so it is necessary to maintain crews to attend the route in the moment the collapse occurs,” he assured.
At kilometer 105 inconveniences are also reported, as material continues to fall from a slope. At this every this point, weeks ago, 40 cubic meters of material were removed.
The Conavi has also been working on clearing debris on routes 242 and 328 and the road between Chacarita and Rincón de Osa, while the road that connects San José with Limón has a regulated passage 200 meters before the Sucio River.
Finally, between Ciudad Quesada and Zarcero the road registered several landslides that were removed, first by neighbors and later by Conavi crews.