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HomeCosta RicaFlash Flooding Wreaking Havoc in Northern Costa Rica

Flash Flooding Wreaking Havoc in Northern Costa Rica

Heavy rains and flooding brought havoc to the town of Aguas Zarcas in northern Costa Rica on Sunday afternoon. A flash flood in the Aguas Zarcas River affected homes, businesses and infrastructure after a landslide a week prior in nearby Juan Castro Blanco Park sent logs, mud and stones surging downriver.

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) issued an urgent warning for residents not to go near bridges or riverbanks to observe the flash floods and avalanches. They advised families living along the riverbanks to relocate temporarily to the homes of relatives or friends.

The CNE is working with the Municipal Emergency Committee to address the emergency situation. According to authorities, the debris and mud avalanche was caused by landslides in the surrounding mountains flowing into the engorged river.

The Costa Rican Red Cross dispatched 16 specialized rescuers trained in vehicle extraction, collapsed structure rescue, and canine rescue to reinforce the 30 Red Cross personnel already assisting since the early morning. They have been supporting the area since the first emergency calls came in.

Due to road obstructions limiting access, the rescue teams entered the affected communities from two directions – Río Cuarto and Ciudad Quesada. The Red Cross also set up a monitoring station 2 kilometers from the site to enable early warning in case of additional flash flooding or other threats.

The institution affirmed it will remain actively involved throughout the emergency, providing vital assistance to the most vulnerable families and individuals. The Red Cross crews have the expertise and equipment to conduct swift water rescues, evacuate those in immediate danger, provide first aid and help dispatch emergency supplies.

With more heavy rainfall forecast, the risk of additional flooding, mudslides and avalanches remains high. Residents should heed all warnings from the CNE and the Red Cross to protect their safety. The organizations stressed that the situation is dangerous, and sightseers should avoid approaching the vicinity.

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