43 houses in Limón have been reported that were affected by strong waves and floods.
/ National Emergency Commission courtesy photo.

-Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2020-

Alert on strong winds and high waves continues

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The National Emergency Commission announced that it is continuing to coordinate with municipal committees to follow up on the alert of high winds and increased waves due to the passage over the national territory of a system of high atmospheric pressure.

"The strong waves will remain intense until next Wednesday, so the population is called upon to take precautionary measures, especially not to approach vulnerable areas," said the commission in its statement.

According to the commission's report, the province of Limón has been affected due to the increase in waves. "43 houses have been reported that were affected by strong waves and floods in Barra Parismina, Barra Pacuare and Laguna Madre de Dios," said the commission.

The commission staff is working on bringing food supplies and giving support to affected families. In addition, experts are in the process of evaluating the damage caused by floods.

At the close of the edition, the commission had reported no shelters have been established yet.

The Center for Research in Marine Sciences of the University of Costa Rica issued last week an alert for strong winds and high waves on the Caribbean coast.

According to reports, the height of the waves is 12 to 18 feet.

"The forecast is that today will be similar, said the report. Wednesday the winds would be between 20 knots and 25 knots and the height of the waves from 8 feet to 12 feet, the forecast said.

According to the National Meteorological Institute, the pressure gradient generated by the presence of a high-pressure system in the Atlantic Ocean maintains strong wind conditions in the Central American region.

In Costa Rica, gusts with magnitudes between 60-110 km/h have been recorded in the mountainous areas of the country.

In the North Pacific Coast and the Central Valley, there have been gusts of strong winds that are around 35-60 km/h, the agency said.

In addition, since Monday morning there have been isolated rains on the Caribbean Coast and East of the Central Valley with levels less than 15 mm.

According to experts, strong winds with intense gusts will continue today.

The maximum speeds are estimated between 70-120 km/h in the mountainous areas of the country and between 40-70 km/h in the lower parts of the Central Valley and Guanacaste.

It is also possible that rain and drizzles in the Caribbean Coast and North Zone regions will continue through the day with accumulated estimates between 5-10 mm during the daytime period and between 10-30 mm for the nighttime, said the specialist.

Specialists recommend taking precautions due to high gusts and their possible impact on roofs, electrical wiring, signs, trees. Particularly vulnerable are the mountainous parts of the country such as within national parks or around volcanoes.

Also recommended is to take precautions in areas vulnerable to flooding due to the saturation of sewers and increased flow in rivers and streams.

Caution is urged in sectors with the risk of landslides, especially in the Caribbean, the Northern Zone and areas near the mountains in the Central Valley and Guanacaste.

Vessels are recommended to avoid sailing due to the risk of strong waves in the North Pacific, Gulf of Nicoya, Central Pacific and the Caribbean Sea.

Specialists also recommend avoiding taking flights that cross mountainous areas due to the increase in high winds. Or at least pilots should take more precaution when the aircraft crosses those areas.

A call was also made for people to avoid any type of controlled burn because high winds could cause a small fire to become a blaze quickly.

A.M. Costa Rica urges readers to share this alert with their contacts, as well as recommend tourists to increase precautionary measures if they are going to sail or take a local flight.

Have strong winds or heavy waves caused emergencies in your community? 
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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