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The goal of the decree is to expedite the administration of resources and the care of the people living in the areas affected
 by the massive landslides and flooding. - Emergency Commission photo -


Published Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Emergency Presidential Decree
due to damages caused by Eta

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Carlos Alvarado announced that during this week, a Presidential Decree of National Emergency will be settled due to the damages caused by the collateral effects of Hurricane Eta last week.

The goal of the decree is to expedite the administration of resources and the care of the people living in the areas affected by the massive landslides and flooding.

According to Alexander Solís, president of the National Emergency Commission, the decree would allow the development of a plan to allow more quickly to buy the resources needed to deal with the damage in the area.

The Canton of Coto Brus, in the southern part of Puntarenas Province, is one of the areas with the most damage to homes, roads, and livestock and agricultural production areas.

Other cantons where a large number of floods were registered are Corredores and Golfito also in Puntarenas Province.

Of the 2,056 people who remained in temporary shelters, a total of 386 people have returned to their homes. However, there are still people housed in 56 temporary shelters that were set up mainly in the southern zone of the country. Commission officials supplied 5,544 families with food and hygiene products.

Also, 1,600 hectares of crops are registered with severe damage. Likewise, more than 1,500 units of cattle were moved after the flooding of the land where they grazed.

Even though Hurricane Eta left the Central American region, heading towards the state of Florida in the U.S., the authorities maintain alerts due to the proximity of a new tropical wave, #52 of the green season, which on Monday was passing over the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea.

According to the Meteorological Institute, this phenomenon is forecasted to move slowly over the Caribbean Sea during this week. It is estimated that the effects of this new tropical wave will affect the country on Thursday or Friday.

However, the authorities maintain the status of alert only in a few cantons.

There are currently no zones under Red Alert.

Orange Alert status is in place for the cantons of Nicoya, Hojancha and Nandayure in  Guanacaste Province,  Parrita and Quepos, Coto Brus and Corredores in Puntarenas Province. This alert is established when a high-risk situation can cause an emergency for the people in a specific area.

A Yellow Alert was established for the rest of Puntarenas Province and Central Valley. The alert status serves as an announcement for the rescue forces to prepare for an increased danger of a natural phenomenon that will affect the population in a specific region.

This week, authorities are asking for donations for people affected by Hurricane Eta. "Families affected by ETA need everyone's help," authorities of the Commission said. They need to collect donations that would be delivered to people affected by the floods caused by the side effects of the passage of the hurricane over Central America last week.

People who wish to donate food or hygiene products must fill out a form to register the donation on
the Commission's website.

The commission, in coordination with the Red Cross, will be setting up sites for the collection of donations. Site locations have not been announced.

Eta caused deaths, floods, destruction of houses and roads in the country. On Thursday paramedics of the Red Cross confirmed the identification of victims, a U.S. citizen from California, surnamed LaDuke, 69, and his wife, a Costa Rican woman surnamed Sanchez, 50 who died when their home was destroyed by a huge landslide in the community of Agua Buena, Coto Brus Canton, southern zone of Puntarenas Province.

Due to the high risk of rains and saturation of water in the soils, specialists stress the following to avoid accidents, damage to structures and emergencies during the green season:

• Keep the roof of your house clean.

• Clear a path in the backyard allowing rainwater to move without problems toward 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 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.

Authorities call on the public to take the following precautionary measures:

• 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 tree branches 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 to call 911 to report any possible flooding, fallen trees or landslides in the country.

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

What have you heard of people who need support from the Emergency Commission in your community?   
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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