Tuesday, October 16, 2007

National emergency as rain affects all parts of the country

(Inside Costa Rica) - From Santa Ana to Atenas, to Acosta, Tempisque, Guanacaste and Parrita, Quepos, mother nature has hit every part of the country hard during the past week, killing more than a dozen persons, destroying homes leaving hundreds homeless and affecting thousands.

Rain has been falling on the country since the beginning of last week with the presence of a stationary low pressure system followed by a tropical wave, dumping water from the north to the south of the country along the Pacific coast and the Central Valley.

Parrita, Garabito, Atenas, Acosta, Puntarenas, Desamparados, Alajuelita, Filadelfia and another 19 communities in Guanacaste have all felt the effects of the rainy season.

According to information from the National Emergency Commission (CNE) more than 15.000 have been affected by floods, mudslides and raging rivers generated from the heavy rain.

The CNE has had its resources stretched to the limit as it mobilizes to get help to those affected, maintaining a yellow and red alert for most of the country, save the Caribbean coast.

The Caribbean coast normally feels the effects of mother nature in December and January while the rest of the country is its dry (summer) season.

According to the National Meteorological Institute (IMN) the tropical wave that caused the flooding in Guanacaste should pass by the end of the day today, however, will be replaced by another low pressure system which is expected to dump even more water in the South and North Pacific.

The CNE is asking those who live in high risk areas not to drop their guard and keep alert to changes and be ready to act in the case of any anomalies. The commission is asking for residents in those high risk areas to know their area well, identify the weaknesses and have an evacuation plan ready.

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