With heavy rains falling over the last few days, the National Emergency Commission declared red and yellow alerts in parts of the country.
Rains blamed on outcroppings from Tropical Storm Hanna have caused multiple rivers in the northwestern province of Guanacaste to overflow their banks and numerous bridges have been hit by floodwater.
Residents in the U.S. East Coast braced themselves this week for Hanna, which killed 90 people in Haiti, according to Radio Netherlands.
Some Costa Rican communities have already been flooded, cut off from electricity and potable water and at least 500 people have fled their homes in the wake of the destruction to shelters set up by the Commission.
Authorities shut down vehicle traffic Wednesday between Liberia and Filadelfia because the Tempisque River was dangerously close to cresting above the bridge connecting those two cities. One Liberia resident, Erik Dannau, said the water already crested above the bridge. Dannau said the local Barrio de la Cruz is completely under water.
Government offices shut down as certain parts of Filadelfia were evacuated because of concerns about the Tempisque River breaking through dykes. Other flooded areas include Bambú in Filadelfia, Nacascolo in Liberia and parts of Cañas, where authorities ordered an evacuation of the Bagaces sector.
Cut-off communities include La Cruz y Murciélago and Sámara because of the overflowing Cuajiniquil y Combo River.
The daily La Nación reported that 200 meters of road had been destroyed by the rains between Miramar and Arancibia in Montes de Oro canton.
Other affected rivers include the Cañas y Bebedero in Bagaces canton, Enmedio y Diría in Santa Cruz, and the Tempisquito, Sapoá, Cuajiniquil in La Cruz.
All of Guanacaste province and two cantons – Puntarenas and Montes de Oro in Puntarenas province – are under red alert.
Yellow alert covers other Pacific coast cantons further south, including Orotina, San Mateo, Puntarenas, Parrita, Esparza, Aguirre and Garabito. The rest of the country is under green alert, the most benign of the warnings.
The commission declared yellow and green alerts for the same regions Wednesday but upgraded them yesterday.