Monday, September 03, 2007

Hurricane Felix effects will be felt in Costa Rica

By Uri Ridelman

Late Monday Felix rapidly approached Central America and although the category four hurricane will affect mainly Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Belize, Costa Rica will undoubtedly feel its effects indirectly.

The Meteorological National Institute (IMN) warned yesterday in a press release that today it would rain most of the day, with precipitations reaching their peak intensity during the night.

Although early on the rainfall wasn't as strong as expected, at least not in downtown San Jose and its surroundings, the forecast was right on target. At approximately 12:30 p.m. it started to rain in some areas of the Central Valley and as of 5 p.m. the rain had not stopped.

According to the press release the rain would start in the South Pacific zone of Costa Rica and it would gradually reach the Central Pacific zone and the Central Valley. The Caribbean coast will be also be affected and floods in some of its areas are expected.

The Costa Rican government declared a yellow alert in all Costa Rica and the National Emergency Comission activated all its response units around the country in order to meet any natural disasters in the next few hours.

The Costa Rican Red Cross has also taken some preventive measures in some cities that tend to suffer floods during the rainy season.

According to a press release on the Costa Rican Red Cross Web site the institution has already sent teams to Ciudad Neilly, Perez Zeledon, Quepos and Parrita. Specially-equipped all-terrain vehicles were also sent to these zones in case they are needed for evacuations and food distribution.

Red Cross stations all around the country were told to monitor vulnerable towns and cities and to be prepared to respond quickly and coordinate activities with other Costa Rican institutions in case an emergency does occur.

The IMN said that the effects of the hurricane will also be felt Tuesday, however the intensity of the rainfall could increase or abate depending of the path that Felix follows during the next few hours.

For more information on Felix's path, strengh and advisories please visit the National Hurricane Center Web site.

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