Strong winds to hit Costa Rica again Thursday

February 16, 2016

A new cold front expected to enter the country on Thursday will bring strong winds throughout most of Costa Rica, the National Meteorological Institute (IMN) reported Monday.

Costa Rica weather forecasts estimate the front will bring gusts ranging from 50 to 80 kilometers per hour.

The IMN is also predicting rains for the northern and Caribbean regions, however they are expected to be milder than those that caused flooding in those regions last week.

Strong winds last Wednesday and Thursday caused an increase in emergencies throughout the country. On Wednesday, gusts in Guanacaste province caused a tree to fall on top of a car, killing a 34-year-old man inside.

The Firefighters’ Department reported that Wednesday was an historic day: all 73 stations were called to attend a total of 424 emergency calls — the highest number for a single day since the Firefighters’ Corps started operations in Costa Rica in 1865.

About half of them were directly caused by strong winds — mostly fallen utility poles, trees, billboards and signs, broken power lines and blown-off roofs. They also received another 129 reports of wildfires.

Power supply failures at pumping stations cut the water supply for some 60,000 residents of Alajuela province and about 25,000 residents of the western San José cantons of Mora and Puriscal.

The National Power and Light Company (CNFL) reported receiving more than 300 failure reports on Thursday in the Greater Metropolitan Area, in San José, Heredia and Cartago provinces. Fallen utility poles and broken power lines affected about 15,000 people on Wednesday and 7,000 on Thursday, CNFL’s Energy Distribution Manager Erick Esquivel reported.

Officials from the Firefighters’ Corp and CNFL are warning citizens not to attempt to manipulate fallen utility poles or broken power lines, urging them to instead submit a report to 911 or CNFL’s hotline number: 1026.

Strong winds. Feb. 10, 2016.
Fallen trees on Feb. 10, 2016 affected houses and power lines in Heredia, Cartago and San José provinces. (Via CNFL)
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