Flooding Continues As Nation Rebuilds

November 2, 2007

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) has Costa Rica’s entire Pacific coast under a yellow alert in anticipation of heavy rains that could come from the Tropical Storm Noel.

“The circulation being generated by this storm throughout the CaribbeanBasin is producing an indirect effect on the country’s atmospheric conditions,” said a National Meteorological Institute report, adding that low-pressure systems are forming around Costa Rica.

The alert comes after Noel-related rains earlier this week caused flooding in the Southern Zone, causing the commission to open a shelter in Ciudad Neily for 32 evacuees. The CNE opened three shelters in the southern OsaPeninsula this week for nearly 50 flood victims.

Wednesday night rains also flooded 40 homes in Barva and San Rafael de Heredia, north of San José, collapsed a bridge in Barva and cut the fiber-optic line serving San José de la Montaña, according to a CNE statement.

The country is still picking up the pieces from disastrous October rains. The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) announced Tuesday it has a temporary solution for a 50-meter stretch of the Inter-American highway in the Southern Zone at La Cangreja. The ministry slung a temporary metallic bridge across the gap, which was taken out during heavy rains by a landslide.

MOPT asked drivers to be cautious when crossing the bridge, which is being supervised by traffic officials.

The stretch of road was one of 27 pieces of Costa Rica’s highways damaged by the floods, which affected 15,000 people, sent more than 3,100 to shelters and took the lives of 18. The floods caused President Oscar Arias to declare a state of emergency to free up funding for relief and reconstruction efforts (TT, Oct. 19).

During the weekend, CNE president Daniel Gallardo met with the mayors of cantons that suffered damage from the rains, and requested that they turn in damage reports to help prioritize reconstruction projects. This week, the commission helped clean up rivers, clear roads and sewers and repair bridges.

 

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