Yesterday, the Government of Costa Rica signed two National Emergency decrees to promptly address the needs of the communities impacted by the latest emergencies.
The first decree was signed to address the effects of the rains caused by the direct influence of the Intertropical Convergence Zone over Costa Rica in the cantons of Alajuelita, Aserrí, and Desamparados from September 16 to 19.
On the other hand, following the impact of the indirect influence of Hurricane Julia during October 8-10, a national emergency was declared in the cantons of Pérez Zeledón and the cantons of Buenos Aires, Coto Brus, Corredores, Golfito, and Osa in the province of Puntarenas.
As explained by the government, the decision was adopted based on the recommendations made by the Board of Directors of the National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Attention, which aim to recover, in a more efficient manner, the devastated road infrastructure, and housing.
“We will be able to manage the resources easily, the contracting and the necessary procedure for the repair works of the affected roads, railroads, schools, and houses in the cantons incorporated within the National Emergency decrees,” said the President.
The President of the National Emergency Commission, Alejandro Picado, pointed out that, for the priority inclusion of recovery and reconstruction projects, the competent public institutions will have “thirty days as of the effective date of this decree to submit the report of the areas that require priority attention.”
He pointed out that priority will be given to projects to restore, recover and protect road infrastructure, including damage control or mitigation works (dikes, walls, etc.) so that future events do not generate a similar state of emergency, as well as the recovery of social housing.
As a result of the heavy rains generated by the Intertropical Convergence Zone over the country from September 16 to 19, 7 national roads and five cantonal roads were reported to be affected in the cantons of Desamparados, Aserrí, and Alajuelita. In addition, 11 bridges were wrecked.
In the canton of Desamparados, there were 33 communities with some damage. Overflowing rivers and streams caused flooding in at least 153 homes, and another 261 recounted some level of destruction.
Meanwhile, in Aserrí, 20 communities were struck. In areas such as Santa Teresita, Concepción, and Alajuelita, an estimated 31 homes reported problems.
Coto Brus was the canton with the highest number of communities affected. Ten communities were left uncommunicated due to the collapsing of bridges, the poor state of roads, and the weather conditions at the time.
The government declared a National Emergency to integrate and define the responsibilities and functions of all agencies and public and private entities and to be able to provide a solution per the magnitude of the disaster.