Costa Rica’s Red Cross reported that 79 people died by accidents and other violent causes in the first 19 days of this month. That exceeds by 27 the number of deaths registered in the same period last year, when the Red Cross reported 52 deaths.
The figure likely will surpass last year’s total for the month, 81 deaths, according to the Red Cross.
As was the case last year, traffic accidents are the leading cause of violent deaths for the period, totaling 27. Of those, 19 are classified as vehicle crashes, four are vehicle rollovers, and four people died after being struck by a vehicle.
Homicides by firearms or knives are the second-leading causing, killing 17; seven people drowned in beaches or rivers; six died of unknown causes; five by poisoning; two were electrocuted; and two died from injuries caused by falls. In addition, 142 people resulted injured and were hospitalized.
Among the drowning victims are three tourists who died on Jan. 8 when a catamaran sank in high winds and rough seas off the central Pacific beach of Herradura.
Red Cross officials are concerned about the high numbers in the report, as they believe the number could increase significantly due to drowning and automobile accidents, which increase during upcoming weeks as many people are still on vacation across Costa Rica.