San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Taiwan Helps Mitigate Disastrous Flooding

HELPING Costa Rica recover fromthe beating it received this year from hurricane-and torrential-rain-spawned flooding,Taiwan donated ¢215 million($439,000) to train professionals in climatology.The donation, part of Taiwan’s“Reduction of Central AmericanVulnerability to Extreme WeatherDisasters” project, could help Costa Ricaavert major disasters. It will help establishWeather Forums throughout the isthmusto monitor climatic systems thatcould trigger catastrophes, and will helpthe countries manage their rivers, lakesand springs, their concessions and sales,and the legislation that governs them.President Abel Pacheco called this year’sflooding the worst in Costa Rican history.“In January, we witnessed the mostsevere torrential downpours in the history ofthe Caribbean slope, topping the 1965record. We had never before been so punished.In October we have on record one ofthe most extensive and severe harsh weatherperiods in the history of the Pacific coast.“Never before in history has therebeen such an intense hurricane season inthis region with a total of 12 devastatinghurricanes and there is still a month togo,” he said in a statement.The total flood damage to plantations,roads, homes, public buildings and otherproperty throughout this year tops ¢80billion ($163.3 million). Roads, bridgesand waterworks took a beating – morethan 200 bridges and nearly 1,000 sectionsof roads were damaged.Since the onset of October’s state ofemergency in response to the floods inthe Pacific, the government spent ¢430million ($877,500) in damage control andhumanitarian aid, and ¢3.5 billion ($7.14million) in basic road repair.

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