Sunday 24 September 2023

Storm forces evacuations, flooding and emergency calls and more than 120 incidents in Caribbean and Central Valley

Heavy rains are expected to continue this Friday in the Caribbean and Central Valley; CNE issued a countrywide yellow alert, except for the cantons of Liberia, La Cruz and Carrillo in Guanacaste

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QCOSTARICA – It’s only the middle of April but it felt like September/October between Wednesday and Thursday, as the rains continued for more than 24 hours, reaching the roof of the houses in some of the hardest hit areas of the Caribbean coast.

The La Lucha community of Guácimo, Limón, woke up flooded. The water reached the roofs of some houses. Photo: Réiner Montero

Around 8 pm Thursday,  the National Emergencies Commission (CNE) issued an orange alert for Matina and Talamanca.

Pretty well anything east of the Central Valley, such as Cartago, Turrialba, Alvarado, and Oreamuno, heavy rains that fell Wednesday night and throughout Thursday.

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In the Central Valley, persistent weak to moderate rainfall also in Coronado, Moravia, Tibás, Goicoechea, Curridabat, Desamparados, Heredia and other parts of the Central Valley, as well as in San Carlos and its surroundings.

Many houses in Matina are on stilts

The Bomberos (Fire Department), the Fuerza Publica (National Police) and the CNE reported more than 120 incidents due to rain, including 35 short circuits, seven rescues of people, five falling trees, falling signs, 82 floods, as well as trapped people, mostly in the areas of B-Line of Matina, Limón, Turrialba, Talamanca, Siquirres and areas of the Central Valley such as Desamparados, Tibás and Santo Domingo de Heredia.

The CNE reported damage to the Reventazón dams in Siquirres, as well as the Chirripó in Matina and the Tueri, in the Bribri area in Talamanca, and some roads affected by falling materials. See Ruta 32 (San Jose – Limon) CLOSED to 5am Friday!

Due to the recurrence of floods in the Caribbean, when the rivers overflowed, the level forced them to evacuate. Photo: Courtesy MSP.

All these damages are preliminary since they must be evaluated in depth when the water level decreases.

As a result of the heavy rains, at least 25 cantons report some kind of affectation.

The southern Caribbean was the area where the most water fell this Thursday. Here, the rescue of 10 people in Bribri, Talamanca. Photo: Courtesy Bomberos

Zona Sur

The Zona Sur (Southern Zone) wasn’t spared. In Coto Brus and Golfito, there were also incidents attended by firefighters.

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In Ciudad Cortés de Osa, it began to rain around 5 am Thursday but not very strong and until 11 am. Late in the afternoon, the rivers in that area were still within their normal course. But it wasn’t without incidents.

Pérez Zeledón was also affected by rains.

In the Central Valley, the majority of incidents responded to were mainly to sewer saturation and gutter overflows.

While Matina and Talamanca cantons are under an orange alert, the CNE issued a yellow alert for the rest of the country, with the exception of Liberia, La Cruz and Carrillo, in Guanacaste,

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Among the 120 incidents attended to throughout the country, there were nine obstructed routes, including the Ruta 32 at the height of the Zurqui, where the Conavi had to close the road overnight due to the danger of low visibility and falling debris onto the road.

The vehicle of the State Phytosanitary Service suffered serious damage when a tree fell on it.

Sudden storm

According to the national weather service, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN), the rains of Wednesday and Thursday were unexpected, but not unusual due to the proximity of the intertropical convergence zone and the high moisture content in the atmosphere.

Meteorologist Roberto Vindas reported that conditions similar to those of this Thursday will continue today, Friday, so he urged prevention.

A couple and 10 dogs were rescued in Matina’s B-Line in a fireboat. Photo: Courtesy Bomberos

For the weekend the rains are expected to gradually lose strength.

Although the IMN had predicted that Thursday and Friday would be rainy, that magnitude of the amounts and the persistence of the downpours were not expected at a time when the rainy season has not been established in the Central Valley, which is expected a week early this year, between May 6 and 10.





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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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