Caribbean flooding claims first victim in Costa Rica

November 21, 2008

A lingering storm on the Caribbean side of the country has indirectly claimed its first victim, a man in the town of Siquirres.

Red Cross spokeswoman Fiorella Vilca said the man was electrocuted, apparently while working in wet clothes on an electrical cord in his home.

Vilca said the Red Cross could not yet confirm the victim´s name or age.

Some 4,000 people have been forced into shelters and 35 roads sustained damage, mostly in Siquirres and the Caribbean province of Limón, which have been put on maximum alert for flooding and landslides, the National Emergency Commission reported.

The commission initially reported yesterday morning that the low pressure system showed signs of becoming a cyclone, but the storm later subsided slightly and the chance of it becoming a cyclone was reduced to 20 percent, said Evelyn Quirós, of the National Meteorological Institute.

The Caribbean region today is likely to see a gradual lightening up of rain, she said, but the cool temperatures felt in many parts of the country should be similar to yesterday.

Heavy rains also caused the deaths of four people in nearby Panama, according to the news agency EFE.

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