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04 Nov 2020 | 02:58 PM UTC

Costa Rica: Heavy rainfall from Storm Eta leads to hundreds of evacuations November 4

Heavy rainfall from Storm Eta leads to hundreds of evacuations on November 4; further rainfall and associated flooding and disruptions expected in the coming days

environment
transportation
CRI

Event

At least 688 people have been evacuated to shelters in 12 cantons of Costa Rica due to heavy rainfall caused indirectly by Storm Eta on Tuesday, November 3, and Wednesday, November 4. The National Emergency Commission (CNE) and local emergency teams set up 18 shelters in 12 cantons of the country: Corredores, Parrita, Puntarenas, Nandayure, Hojancha, Paquera, Coto Brus, Cañas, Bagaces, Liberia, La Cruz, and Nicoya. Local emergency response teams are mobilizing in these areas to protect citizens and infrastructure from the impacts on ongoing rainfall. Residents of those areas should prepare for flooding and subsequent landslides.

On Tuesday, the CNE placed the Central Pacific, the North Pacific, and the canton of Upala under orange alert. On Wednesday, the South Pacific was also raised to orange alert. The North Zone and the Central Valley remain on yellow alert and the Caribbean on green alert. The North Pacific (Guanacaste) and South Pacific have received the most rainfall over the last 48 hours; as of Tuesday night, 79 communities had reported flooding. The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) warns that those living in the Central Valley or toward the Pacific coast should continue to expect rain through Thursday, November 5.

Hurricane Eta made landfall just south of Puerto Cabezas municipality (North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region) as a Category 4 hurricane on November 3. It has since weakened to a Tropical Storm, however, there remains the risk of life-threatening flash floods and subsequent landslides and disruptions in parts of Central America through Sunday, November 8.

Advice

Those in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, including evacuation orders. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.

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