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More thunderstorms expected to continue affecting the country until Wednesday.
- Red Cross photo -

Published Tuesday, May 4, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The National Emergency Commission established Green Alert  in the Caribbean Coast and Alajuela Province. This warning is given when it is anticipated that a meteorological phenomenon endangers a specific area in the country. The authorities activate the community's emergency commissions to take action due to the danger related to the alert.

Meanwhile, the Yellow Alert was placed on the rest of the country. This status allows emergency committees of each community to prepare prevention protocols. 

The commission encourages people in the country to take precautions in their homes, places of study or work. People must be attentive to the communication alerts that the commission provides. Rescuers must be prepared for the search or rescue of people and respond to emergency calls.

According to the weather report from the Meteorological Institute, the cause of the strong thunderstorms is the proximity of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, ICZ, to Costa Rica.

The ICZ, known by sailors as the doldrums or the calms due to the dull windless weather, is the area where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge. The zone appears as a band of clouds, usually, thunderstorms, which circles the globe near the equator.

Specialists forecast thunderstorms on the Pacific Coast and Great Metropolitan Area, or GMA, which is a zone made up of cities in the outskirts of San José such as Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago.  In these areas, an estimated 15 to 90 millimeters of rain are expected.

More intense thunderstorms are expected in the Northern Zone of the country and the Caribbean Coast, the rains could be between 20 and 100 millimeters in the mountains.

Specialists call to increase precautions for people who live in the mountains of the Central and South Pacific Coast since they are areas where landslides can occur. On the South Pacific Coast, there could be increased inflow in the rivers. In the GMA flooding could occur caused by sewer saturation.

More thunderstorms expected to continue affecting the country until Wednesday.

Due to the high risk of continuous rains and strong gusts of wind, specialists recommend that in order to avoid accidents, consider the following advice:

» Keep the roof of your house clean.

» Clear a path in the backyard allowing rainwater to move without problems towards the drainage, which helps to avoid damages and leaks in the house.

» Pick up the garbage so that it does not fall on the pipes or drains on the sidewalks.

» Avoid that solvents, oils, acids or corrosive liquids that can fall into the sewer pipes and deteriorate them.

» Organize the cleaning of public areas such as river banks in your community to avoid flooding.

» Report the lack of concrete caps or grids in the pipes to the Aqueduct Institute by calling 2547-6555.

» Stay informed about the alerts issued by the authorities.

» People living in mountain areas should increase precautionary measures against a possible landslide or material falling from the high areas of the hills.

» Have an emergency evacuation plan in the community, work and home.

» Drivers must increase precautions for heavy rain and fog.

» Take precautionary measures in case of electrical storms.

» Be alert in vulnerable areas to flooding due to sewer saturation or increase of river flow.

» In case of a thunderstorm, take refuge in a safe place.

» In case of strong wind gusts, be alert to possible falling trees or electrical cables.

» In the event of a landslide, do not walk on the debris, stay away from affected areas, and do not return home until authorities verify that it is a safe place.

Authorities ask for the people in Costa Rica to call 911 to report any emergency such as flooding, fallen trees or landslides.

A.M. Costa Rica urges readers to share this alert with their contacts.

What emergencies have you heard of due to the thunderstorms in your community?   We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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