Efforts continue to bring normality to all of nation

The jobs of opening up highways, restoring power and water and housing storm refugees continues. The weather cooperated with a Monday that was chilly but with lots of sun.

Cruz Roja workers, many of them volunteers, prepare a shipment of water and food to refugees in Parrita. Photo: Cruz Roja

But the government also announced that it would not be investing public money in rebuilding homes in areas that are prone to flooding or landslides. Officials also said that any new roads would be designed to be permanent.

Much of the country’s road network suffered heavy damage in four days of rain. Many of the problems have been attributed to faults in the engineering or materials.

The national emergency commission lifted an alert in the northern zone and the Caribbean coast but continued an alert in the Central Valley and Pacific coast where rescue work continues.

In San Antonio de Escazú rescue workers wrapped up their labors at the scene of a fatal landslide without finding a suspected victim. In all the landslide rubble yielded 23 bodies. This was the type of area that Vice President Luis Liberman was considering when he said that central government officials are not going to build in zones where there are always floods and constant landslides during the rainy season. He said his office would coordinate this with banks, ministries and other institutions.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias said there still were 3,709 persons in 64 public shelters as a result of the storm. At least 325 of the refugees are in shelters in Escazú where some are receiving psychological counseling.

Food distribution continues, mainly in Aguirre, Corredores, Parrita, Golfito and Osa in Puntarenas and in Escazú, Dota and Pérez Zeledón in San José province.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said that power was being restored slowly. Principal areas of concern are Ciudad Colón, Santa Ana, Escazú, Puriscal, Acosta, Tarbaca and Aserríarea and Palmar Norte, Uvita, Ciduad Cortés, Buenos Aires, Ojochal, Platanillo, Ballena de Osa and La Campiña in the southern zone.

Fixed line service was restored in parts of the central Pacific including Parrita, Quepos, La Palma and La Loma, the company reported.

Some mobil phone towers were out of service because repair crews could not reach them given the condition of the roads.

The Interamericana Sur still is cut with slides and washouts in a number of places. The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said it was paying 100 million colons (about $195,000) a day for rented machinery.

At least 19 bridges were damaged in some way, and some had collapsed. Access to Nosara and Ostional on the Pacific coast off the Nicoya peninsula was restored, officials said.

The central government is beginning to allocate money, but the full cost of the storm will not be known for weeks.

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