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Flooding rainfall and mudslides are expected to be the biggest dangers for Central America now that Iota is inland,
 including in areas that were devastated by Eta's heavy rain earlier this month. - The Weather Channel photo -


Published Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Raised alert status due to Iota

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The National Emergency Commission raises the status of alert for the northern zone of Alajuela Province  and the Puntarenas Province, due to the indirect influence of the hurricane Iota.

On Tuesday, the authorities   established Orange Alert status for the northern zone of Alajuela Province and the whole Pacific Coast ( the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas). This alert is established when a high-risk situation can cause an emergency to the people in a specific area.

A Yellow Alert was established in the Central Valley (San José Province). 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.

The Green Alert was established on the Caribbean Coast (Limón Province). This alert 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.

According to  the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA,  hurricane Iota is spreading a dangerous threat of flooding rainfall and damaging winds into Central America after making landfall in northern Nicaragua as a strong Category 4 late Monday night.

Iota made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph at 10:40 p.m. EST on Monday near the town of Haulover, Nicaragua, or about 30 miles south of Puerto Cabezas, the National Hurricane Center said.

The landfall location of Iota was just 15 miles south of where Hurricane Eta made landfall as a Category 4 earlier this month on Nov. 3.

Winds of 124 mph and damaged roofs have been reported in Wilbi, Nicaragua. In Puerto Cabezas Airport in northern Nicaragua clocked a wind gust to 113 mph late Monday night as Iota was making landfall. Flooding rainfall and mudslides are expected to be the biggest dangers for Central America now that Iota is inland, including in areas that were devastated by Eta's heavy rain earlier this month, according to the Weather Channel report on Monday night.

According to the forecast of the Meteorological Institute the side effects of Iota, which is slowly moving through Nicaragua, will continue to cause heavy rains in Costa Rica.

Due to the high risk of continuous rains, 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 emergencies have you heard of due to the tropical storm in your community? 
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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