QCOSTARICA – Wind gusts on Friday in a span of 30 minutes, took down three trees, damaging seven cars and injuring two people, between 12:45pm and 1:15pm in the Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio and the Ciudad de la Investigación of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), in Montes de Oca, San Pedro.
Branches from one tree hit two young men walking along the sidewalk, suffering head injuries and bruises to the arms. Both were treated at the UCR health centre.
According to Gustavo Perez, head of the department of safety and traffic at the university, the first tree fell in front of the faculty of medicine, around 12:45pm, hitting several parked vehicles.
Ten minutes later, another free fell and third tree falling around 1:15pm, both at the Rodrigo Facio centre, behind the Center for Research and Animal Nutrition.
As a preventive measure, the university decided to temporarily close the General Services Office and sports facilities located in La Sabanilla.
The Bomberos (Fire Department) were called in, using chain saws cut the fallen trees and removed them from the vehicles.
Gabriela Chinchilla, meteorologist at the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) – national weather service – explained wind gusts reached 60 km/h in the area of the UCR, from 10am to 3pm.
“Taking into account the area, these (wind) gusts are rare. A gust of 40 km/h is classified as strong…in early January we recorded gusts up to 64 km/h in many area of the country and up to 98 km/h in Tilaran (Guanacaste),” said Chinchilla.
Strong winds and cooler temperatures are expected to continue today, Saturday and tomorrow, Sunday, says the national weather service, produced by a high pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico.
Source: La Nacion