Emergency officials issue yellow alert amid Costa Rica Caribbean rainstorm

May 8, 2009

Costa Rica´s National Emergency Commission (CNE) issued a yellow alert for several towns on the central Caribbean Tuesday because of heavy rainfall.

The commission declared the alert for the cantons of Talamanca, Limón, Matina, Siquirres, Guácimo and Pococí, all in the province of Limón, and Sarapiquí in the province of Heredia.

Figi Frado, a spokesman for the CNE, said the yellow alert – the second of three precautionary warning levels – is a “preventative alert,” meaning that residents should take “precautionary measures” against the threats of flooding and landslides. Frado urged drivers to be careful when traveling on route 32 between San José and Limón, and to watch river levels closely.

More than 350 millimeters (13.7 inches) of rain fell in the province of Limón between Saturday morning and Tuesday morning – the average amount for the entire month of May, according to the National Meteorology Institute. Meteorologists forecasted an additional 50-100 mm (1.9 – 3.9 inches) of rain for Tuesday night.

Frado said residents do not need to evacuate, adding that CNE will monitor roads and rivers and let citizens know if and when they should leave their homes.

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