San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Isolated Communities Remain Without Aid

Although search efforts for missing storm victims have been called off, 38 communities remained isolated Wednesday, requiring that supplies and other aid be flown in.

Despite these aerial missions, Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) said Wednesday that it has been unable to reach eight of these communities, located mostly in the southern zone. These communities have been stranded since severe rains and landslides damaged and closed roads last Thursday.

The CNE said it hopes to enter four of these communities by air Wednesday afternoon – Drake, Rancho Quemado and Los Planes in the northern part of the Osa Peninsula, and Pitales in Acosta on the Pacific side of the mountains south of San José. The commission said it is also working to land aid in Carate de Golfito, also on the Osa Peninsula, and Los Plancitos and Santa Rosa de Corredores in the extreme southern zone by Thursday morning.

The CNE, with airplane and helicopter assistance from the Colombian, Guatemalan and Panamanian armed forces, has been airlifting food rations to damaged and isolated communities across the country since last Friday.

As of Wednesday, teams had airlifted nearly 4,000 rations to stranded communities across the country. Rations include 12 kilograms of food, which the CNE says can sustain five people for four days. The packages also contain medical supplies.

On Wednesday, at least 2,872 people remained in temporary shelters across the country.

Teams from Costa Rica’s Mixed Institute for Social Aid (IMAS) are visiting damaged homes to determine how much aid to assign to evacuees. Approximately 2,540 homes were affected by last week’s storms, and the agency expects to have an inventory of totally destroyed homes and of damaged homes that can be repaired by next week.

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