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Yellow Alert for Pacific Slope and Central Valley

November 2, 2010

Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) issued a yellow alert — the second of the country’s three alert levels — on Tuesday afternoon for the Central Valley and the Pacific Slope in anticipation of heavy rainfall.

According to Costa Rica’s National Meteorological Institute (IMN), tropical storm Tomás in the Caribbean Sea and a low pressure system that has approached Costa Rica from Panama will generate strong rains through Wednesday.

The CNE has opened temporary shelters along the Pacific slope, a region that usually receives the strongest rains from tropical storms and hurricanes in the Caribbean Sea. The emergency relief organization has already moved 152 people from into evacuation centers. Along the central Pacific coast, 72 people have been relocated to shelters, and the CNE has evacuated 80 people in Santa Cruz, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.

Officials from the CNE called an urgent meeting Tuesday afternoon to assign response actions to emergency personnel.

On Monday night and early Tuesday morning, heavy rainfall caused minor flooding and evacuations along Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast.

In Garabito de Puntarenas, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) moved 10 families to a temporary shelter as a precautionary measure due to overflowing from the Río Cañablancal.

The Río Bejuco also spilled over its banks on Monday night and caused minor damages in Nandayure on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Flooding also occured in the central Pacific coast towns of Parrita and Quepos. No one was forced to evacuate in these towns.

One small community on the central Pacific coast, El Cacao, remained isolated by flood waters on Tuesday, as emergency officials attempted to reach people in the village.  

Meteorologists at the IMN said that the heavy rains are normal for November. The CNE advises residents to be aware of the flash floods and landslides.

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