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Evacuations, landslides and road damage reported in Costa Rica: Wednesday afternoon update

Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) says 588 people have been evacuated due to landslides and flooding related to Hurricane Eta, which made landfall in Nicaragua on Tuesday.

Eta, which has since weakened to a Tropical Storm, will indirectly cause heavy rainfall in many parts of Costa Rica until Friday, according to the National Meteorological Institute (IMN).

While 12 cantons across the entire Pacific region have established emergency shelters, Guanacaste has been the most significantly affected. According to the IMN, over the last three days, Guanacaste has already doubled its average rainfall for the entire month of November.

Similarly, the South Pacific has in three days reached its expected rainfall for November.

The North Pacific should prepare for persistent rain through Friday, while the Central and South Pacific will receive rain through Thursday. In addition, the Pacific Ocean will exhibit strong swells and currents over the coming days.

According to the CNE’s latest updates, issued Wednesday a 1 p.m. CST:

  • 588 people have been evacuated to 18 shelters across 12 cantons. This number is expected to increase Wednesday as rain batters the South Pacific.
  •  69 landslides have been reported across Costa Rica.
  • At least 520 adverse events related to the weather have been reported across 50 cantons. These include road obstructions, and people are advised against driving to areas that have been placed under an Orange Alert.

As of Wednesday morning, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) reported the closure of Route 2 at Macho Mora de Páramo (Cerro de la Muerte), and restricted passage on Route 2 between Palmar Norte and Paso Real.

The following regions are under an Orange Alert due to heavy rainfall and saturated soils, which increase the risk of landslides and flooding:

  • The South Pacific.
  • The Central Pacific.
  • The North Pacific.
  • The northern canton of Upala, Alajuela.

The Central Valley and Huetar Norte region are under a Yellow Alert, which indicates residents of those regions should be prepared for increasing impacts of the weather event.

Tropical Storm Eta is moving west at 7 mph near Nicaragua’s border with Honduras. It is expected to regain strength, reenter the Caribbean Sea, and approach Cuba and then Florida.

Dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency in Costa Rica. English-speaking operators are available.

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