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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Evacuations, landslides and road closures reported in Costa Rica: Friday afternoon update

Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) says more than 1,700 people have been evacuated due to landslides and flooding related to Eta, the hurricane that devastated much of Central America this week.

The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) expects rain to diminish Friday as Costa Rica returns to weather more typical of the season.

A Red Alert remains in effect for the following eight cantons: Hojancha, Nandayure, Nicoya, Corredores, Coto Brus, Parrita, Quepos and Golfito.

According to the CNE’s latest updates, released midday Friday:

  • 1,732 people have been evacuated to 48 shelters across Costa Rica’s Pacific regions and in Guanacaste.
  • Some 57,400 people have experienced power outages, primarily in the Chorotega Region (northwest). Electrical service hasn’t yet returned to an estimated 5,300 people.
  • Nearly 30,000 people have experienced potable water issues, primarily in Buenos Aires, San Isidro (Perez Zeledón), Ciudad Neily and Coto Brus.
  • Landslides and other damage have forced the closure of 26 spots on roads.

According to the latest update from the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT):

  • Passage through the Costanera in Parrita (Route 34) has been enabled.
  • There is a regulated passage in Monte Aguacate (Route 3), while a recent fall of material is being cleaned up.
  • The road has been cleared in Cambronero (Route 1).
  • Route 32 has no problems; transit is enabled between San José and Limón.
  • Cerro de la Muerte (Route 2) remains closed due to constant new landslides.

The CNE says it will prioritize evaluating damage as the conditions improve and waters recede.

“For this, technical groups are formed in the areas to evaluate infrastructure, the geological condition of the rivers and active landslides, among others,” the organization said.

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

Map of Yellow, Orange and Red Alerts in Costa Rica associated with Hurricane Eta on November 4, 2020.
Via CNE.

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

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