Strong waves forecast for this weekend on both coasts of Costa Rica already are affecting areas in the Pacific province of Puntarenas.
National Coast Guard officers in the town of Caldera on Friday morning evacuated residents of the coastal community La Angostura, where several homes were flooded by high waves that began pounding the area at 7 a.m. Coast Guard Director Martín Arias reported that 50 of the community’s 200 residents were evacuated to a nearby shelter.
“Municipal and National Emergency Commission officials ordered the evacuation of all affected residents, but reports issued at noon indicate that several have returned to their homes,” Arias said.
The road that runs parallel to Caldera beach also was flooded, but there are no reports of homes being damaged in that area.
Arias issued a warning to travelers, as many families will visit Pacific beaches over the weekend to enjoy mid-year vacations.
He also warned drivers traveling at night along the Caldera road that strong waves could affect the area. The Caldera road is one of the main routes connecting coastal communities in Puntarenas.
Experts from the University of Costa Rica’s Ocean Science and Limnology Research Center (CIMAR) earlier this week warned residents and beachgoers that powerful waves will hit Costa Rican shores on both coasts beginning Friday.
CIMAR’s Ocean Information Director Omar Lizano said the phenomenon was caused by strong currents prompted by a storm that has intensified in Antarctica.
Caribbean beaches also might experience strong waves over the weekend prompted by a low-pressure system that will cause choppy seas.