Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tourists rescued from earthquake

Kay McLellan
Travel Trade Gazette

Tourists left stranded by last week’s earthquake in Costa Rica have been rescued by the country's authorities.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit Costa Rica on January 8, with the epicentre at Poas Volcano, 40km from the capital San Jose.

Costa Rica's tourism minister, Carlos Benavides, said this was the only area seriously affected by the quake.

Five British tourists left unaccounted for have now been found safe. A group of American tourists stranded in the affected area have been rescued and taken by helicopter to San Jose for food and medical attention.

The Costa Rica Tourist Board is now working with airlines to return tourists home. It has created a Committee of Support for Tourists to provide assistance and advice to tourists affected by the quake.

The country's international and domestic airports are operating normally.

However, roads around Vara Blanca, San Pedro de Poas, Cinchona and San Miguel de Sarapiqui have been badly damaged and work has begun to repair them.

The rest of Costa Rica’s infrastructure remains unaffected.

For further information, contact the Committee of Support for Tourists on: +506 2299 5832 or +506 8379 8397.

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