Residents of Puerto Viejo and Cahuita and much of Costa Rica´s Caribbean region were without telephone or cell phone service Wednesday, after a fire broke out in the transmission center of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute in Limón.
Crews have focused on restoring emergency communications first and on establishing radio bases with 3G and GSM cell phone technology. As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, full service in the region had not been restored.
“Our principal concern is to return telecommunications services to the people of Limón in the shortest time possible,” said Iván Flores, telecom systems and network director for ICE. “We have focused all the resources of ICE (on the problem) since last night.”
Rigoberto Ríos, a waiter at Bio Natura café in downtown Limón, said he’s eager to see phone service return to the area.
“A phone is something that seems so small, but it’s so necessary,” said the 28-year-old, who lives in Río Banano, about 12 kilometers south of Limón, where all telecommunications – land lines, cell phones and Internet –went out. “If I want to call my mom, I can’t.”
Asked if he thought ICE would restore service promptly, he replied, “Maybe a foreign company could solve the problem faster.”
ICE authorities are attempting to confirm the cause of the fire.