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Limón, Sarapiquí Pummeled Again by Flooding

February 13, 2009

Emergency officials on Thursday withdrew weather alerts after flooding in the Caribbean Limón province and the canton of Sarapiquí, but relief efforts continue, National Emergency Commission (CNE) spokeswoman Rebeca Madrigal said.

The cold front subsided early this week, after rain forced rivers past their banks, killing two people. The first victim, National Police officer Juan Rafael Castillo, 61, drowned Feb. 4 while attempting to rescue nine people trapped on a bridge over fast rushing water in El Cairo de Siquirres, in Limón, the Red Cross said.

On Feb. 8 residents of Horquetas de Sarapiquí discovered a second casualty entangled in tree branches in the PuertoViejoRiver. The man was unidentified, between the ages of 35 to 40, according to Sgt. Rafael Fajardo of the Horquetas police.

As many as 900 people were in temporary shelters after emergency authorities announced a yellow (second level) alert for the region. Madrigal said these residents have returned home and CNE staff continue working to bring them food and other assistance.

The commission announced a ¢1 billion (about $1.8 million) levee project in Matina, in Limón, where residents face floods almost every year.

–Alex Leff

 

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