San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Neighboring Countries Send Aerial Aid for Disaster Relief Efforts

Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) has confirmed aerial support from three countries so far to help aid in rescue and supply efforts across the country.

The commission is expecting one airplane from the Guatemalan Air Force, two helicopters from the Colombian Air Force and one helicopter from Panama to arrive in Costa Rica on Friday night.

The aerial vehicles are expected to land at Base 2 of Juan Santamaría International Airport outside the capital, which will serve as the emergency operations base throughout the rescue mission. The vehicles will assist in the search for disaster victims and transport rescue personnel and supplies – mainly blankets, food and medical supplies – to isolated communities.

Sigifredo Pérez, chief of operations for the CNE, did not provide a number of how many communities remain isolated due to infrastructure collapses, but said that communities between Aserrí, a mountain town south of San José, and Acosta, a valley town on the other side of the mountains south of San José, are “areas with critical levels of inaccessibility.”

Peréz also noted that towns along the central Pacific coast, such as Quepos and Parrita, have also been cut off due to flooded roadways and collapsed bridges.

In the country’s Southern Zone, towns such as Peréz Zeledón, Buenos Aires, Golfito, Osa and Coto Brus have also been isolated by flooded roads.

Aerial aid efforts will focus on transporting supplies to all regions of the country, but will focus on the communities between Aserrí and Acosta, along the central Pacific coast and in the Southern Zone.

Nicaraguan press reports announced that Nicaragua will offer disaster assistance through its National Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Assistance System (Sinapred). Costa Rica’s CNE had not confirmed that support as of Friday evening.

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