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Southern Pacific under yellow alert for heavy rains

July 9, 2010

Costa Rica´s National Emergency Commission (CNE) issued a yellow alert Thursday afternoon for the Southern Zone due to heavy rainfall in the region. The alert is in effect for Pérez Zeledón, Buenos Aires, Osa, Golfito, Corredores and Coto Brus.

The heavy rains are due to a low-pressure system that has been building along the Pacific coast. Intense rainfall is forecasted along the Pacific slope, and average rainfall is expected in the Central Valley and the Northern Zone.

The yellow alert is the second of the country´s three alert levels. CNE officials recommend that residents in these areas maintain a close watch on the weather and river levels throughout the weekend.

On Thursday, strong rains provoked a 50-meter-wide rupture in the Río Claro dike near Golfito. The fracture caused flooding in La Esperanza, a nearby community, and the torrents blocked a small stretch of the Inter-American Highway.

Rains have also caused landslides along the road to Puerto Jiménez, on the Osa Peninsula.

The landslides have left stranded residents of La Balsa, a community of 26 families roughly two kilometers northwest of Puerto Jiménez. As of Thursday afternoon, the CNE had not been able to communicate with anyone in La Balsa.

The northwestern province of Guanacaste and the Central Valley are under green alert, the lowest of the country´s three alert levels.

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