• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Facing $100 million in damage, Costa Rica seeks cash

January 9, 2009

Four days after an earthquake caused an estimated $100 million damage in Costa Rica, President Oscar Arias declared a state of emergency yesterday to speed rescue and recovery efforts.

The decree frees state resources to rebuild houses, roads, schools and farms, and to restore electricity and water supplies in eight cantons in Heredia and Alajuela, north and northwest of San José, respectively. The decree also allows the government to expropriate property in the affected areas without first compensating owners.

Arias also declared Jan. 12-16 a national mourning period, when public festivities are now prohibited and public buildings must lower their flags to half mast.

Engineers are now working to identify houses and areas that are too dangerous for evacuees to return to. Daniel Gallardo, director of the National Emergency Commission (CNE), said about 500 houses and the entire village of Cinchona, near Poás Volcano, are uninhabitable. One priority is to relocate evacuees living in tents on soccer fields before Wednesday, when a cold front could bring rain, Gallardo said.

Arias has asked foreign governments for donations to rebuild schools, houses and roads. The Chinese government yesterday gave Costa Rica a $100,000 check, and the United States has loaned four helicopters and Colombia has provided one chopper for rescue and recovery.

The Finance Ministry is also negotiating grants from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the Inter-American Development Bank, said Minister Guillermo Zúñiga.

Lawmakers appear likely soon to approve a credit line from the World Bank to deal with natural disasters. The credit, awarded in November, would allow Costa Rica to borrow up to $65 million, to be repaid over 30 years at 2.25 percent interest.

The state of emergency is in effect in Alajuela, Grecia, Poás, Alfaro Ruiz, and Valverde Vega in the province of Alajuela, and Heredia, Barva, Santa Bárbara, Sarapiquí in the province of Heredia. The decree allows local governments and state institutions to donate money to the CNE for disaster relief, without first requesting a budgetary modification from the Comptroller General´s Office.

You may be interested

IDB approves $500 million loan for Costa Rica
Costa Rica
1 views
Costa Rica
1 views

IDB approves $500 million loan for Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 6, 2021

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said Wednesday that it has approved two loans to Costa Rica totaling $500 million. "Costa…

Costa Rica coronavirus data for Wednesday, May 5
Costa Rica
19 views
Costa Rica
19 views

Costa Rica coronavirus data for Wednesday, May 5

The Tico Times - May 6, 2021

More than 1,100 people in Costa Rica are hospitalized with Covid-19, a new record, the Health Ministry said in its…

USA books Costa Rica friendly with eye to World Cup rhythm
Costa Rica
12 views
Costa Rica
12 views

USA books Costa Rica friendly with eye to World Cup rhythm

AFP - May 5, 2021

The United States men will face Costa Rica in a June 9 friendly, the US Soccer Federation said Wednesday, booking…