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Costa Rica places 8 cantons under Red Alert; 2 people reported dead due to landslides

Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Thursday afternoon extended Red Alerts to three more cantons due to flooding and landslides associated with Hurricane Eta.

Parrita and Quepos in the Central Pacific, and Golfito in the Southern Zone are now under a Red Alert. They join Nicoya, Nandayure, Hojancha, Corredores and Coto Brus, which were issued Red Alerts on Wednesday evening.

During a red alert, all emergency and humanitarian response teams are activated. This often accompanies an evacuation of the public to shelters and is followed by an evaluation of damage to infrastructure.

“I reiterate the message asking that you take extreme precautions against the indirect effects of the Tropical Depression Eta,” said President Carlos Alvarado. “We are keeping an eye on the evolution of its impacts and supporting the more than 1,300 people in shelters and the affected communities.” 

In Coto Brus, two people died when a house was buried by a landslide, according to Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ). They were identified as Seidy Sánchez Chaves, 51, and Bernard León La Duke, 71.

A large portion of Costa Rica has endured uninterrupted rain for 72 hours. Areas in Guanacaste and the Southern Zone received more than 530 mm of rain from November 1-4, many times greater than the expected rainfall for the entire month.

At least 1,361 people have been evacuated to 41 shelters in 16 cantons. Some 60 communities have reported flooding or landslides. The greatest damage is concentrated in 23 communities in Cóbano, Coto Brus, Nicoya, Quepos, Parrita and Garabito.

According to Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), landslides have closed parts of several national or local roads, including Routes 2, 3, 158, 160, 163, 237, 605, 606, 613, 901, 915 and 934.

The following roads have regulated traffic, and drivers should expect delays: Route 14, 34, 130, 141, 150, 242, 243, 245, 301, 328, 415, 617, 903.

Access to the following communities has been prevented by damaged or blocked roads, or destroyed bridges:

via CNE.

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

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