San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

National Emergency Declared After Weather-Related Disasters

President Oscar Arias Wednesday ordered a national state of emergency in the wake of violent weather in the Central Valley that caused floods, landslides and even a tornado last week.

The decree was signed in Belén, one of several Central Valley cantons that suffered flooding. It gives the National Emergency Commission (CNE) more control and resources to reconstruct the area’s infrastructure and homes after the week of brutal weather.

Presidency Minister Rodrigo Arias said that since the Emergency Commission’s budget comes from 3% of each public institution’s budget, he would order all institutions to make sure their payments to the commission are up to date.

An estimated 300 homes were damaged by a tornado that hit Alajuelita, south of the capital, June 14. Around the Central Valley, 250 homes have been “severely damaged” by flooding and several bridges were washed out by heavy rains last week, according to a statement from the CNE.

The commission asks residents of the affected areas and those near rivers to remain on alert in case of additional flooding.


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