- Photo via Curri Noticias -

Published on Friday, September 24, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The National Emergency Commission keeps a Green Alert in most of the country due to an increase in thunderstorms.

People who witnessed the natural phenomenon posted several videos on their social media. Some of these videos can be seen on the AM Costa Rica YouTube channel.

According to the authorities, the increase in rainfall is due to the fact that the Intertropical Convergence Zone, ICZ, is located near the Pacific Coast. It is 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 accompanied with thunderstorms, that circles the globe near the Equator. This caused the overflowing of rivers and floods mainly in the mountainous areas of the country.

Green Alert for most of the country, from the Pacific Coast (Guanacaste and Puntarenas provinces) to the Central Valley (which includes the provinces of Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago). This alert is given when it is anticipated that a meteorological phenomenon endangers those specific areas in the country.

Based on the level of severity or alert, authorities activate the community's emergency commissions to take action due to the danger.
According to the weather report of the Meteorological Institute,  on Thursday, in the Central Valley rainfall levels between 15 to 60 mm were reported (maximums in the cantons of Ciudad Colón, Coronado and Goicoechea).

In the North Pacific Coast (Guanacaste Province), the rainfall levels were registered between 10 to 50 mm.  While, in the northern zone of Alajuela Province, maximum rainfalls of 20 to 25 mm were recorded (in the cantons of  San Carlos and San Vicente).

No alert was established for the Caribbean Coast (Limón Province). However, in the mountainous area of ​​the northern Caribbean Coast rains between 50 to 111 mm were recorded.  In the case of the southern zone of the Caribbean Coast, the level of rain did not exceed 5 mm.

Specialists warn about high levels of soil saturated by heavy rains, which could generate flash flooding causing landslides and road closures. Heavy rains tend to over-saturate the sewers with water causing buildup and overflow of the sewage system.

According to the Red Cross emergency monitor department, the heavy rains registered on Thursday,  more than 90 emergency calls were reported due to landslides and floods caused by the overflowing of rivers.

Emergencies were reported in more than 30 cantons, among these are:

ˇ Coronado, Aserrí, San José city, Santa Ana, Curridabat and Goicoechea, these in San José Province.

ˇ Santa Cruz and Liberia in Guanacaste Province.

ˇ Naranjo in Alajuela Provice.

ˇ Esparza, Garabito and Golfito in Puntarenas Province.

ˇTurrialba in Cartago Province

ˇMountainous areas of Siquirres in Limón Province.

The Commission enabled a shelter in the community of Las Tablas, in Desamparados Canton to aid about 20 people.

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

ˇ Avoid aquatic activities in rivers (located in Emergency zones) such as swimming, diving, rafting, canyoning, river bugging, kayaking, cliff jumping, fishing, sailing, among others.

ˇ Stay informed about alerts issued by the authorities.

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

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

ˇ Drivers must increase precautions for heavy rain and fog.

ˇ Take precautionary measures in case of electrical storms.

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

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

ˇ In case of strong gusts of wind, be alert to possible falling tree branches or electrical cables.

ˇ 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.

ˇ Call 911 to report any possible flooding, fallen trees or landslides.

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

What emergencies have been reported in your community caused by the rains?
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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