Emergency crews manage to reach many isolated towns

Emergency crews managed Wednesday to reach 38 communities that were cut off by slides and destroyed bridges and roads. They said they had at least 39 more to go and hoped to reach them quickly.

Water pools up as much as 20 feet deep behind a landslide that blocked the course of the Río Barranca. Officials say there is no immediate danger. Photo: Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias

The effort was by land, sea and air. Among the communities getting the assistance were the tourist destinations of Nosara and Ostional, which had been cut off on the Nicoya Peninsula. Emergency officials said they delivered food sufficient for 15 days.

In another tourism area, Manuel Antonio, workers predicted that the main road, damaged by a subsidence and landslide, would be ready by the weekend. The national park there continues to be closed because slides and trees block the trails.

At least eight areas continue to be challenging for emergency officials. Communities that workers hoped to reach before the sun set Wednesday were Drake, Rancho Quemado and Los Planos in the canton of Osa, Pitales in Acosta, Caraté in Golfito and Los Plancitos and Santa Rosa in Corredores.

In some cases the emergency crews are using quadracycles to delivery food and water.

In Acosta, the deliveries were by air to Hondonada,
Chirraca, Cedral, San Pablo de Palmichal, Zancudo, Tiquiris, Tiquintos and Bijagual. Air crews also were making deliveries to the native communities around Buenos Aires de Puntarenas.

Emergency officials expressed concern when they learned that a landslide Tuesday created a natural dam on the Río Barranca above the community of that name. The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias said its crews, including geologists, inspected the area and determined that the situation presented no risk to persons living below. The concern was that the water, which is as much as 20 feet deep, might breach the dam and flood areas downstream. However, residents below noted that the river is broad near where it meets the sea so a slug of water would not be critical.

The Interamericana Sur remained closed Wednesday between Palmar Norte and Paso Real as cleanup of slides continues.

Also closed were the Guatuso-Colonia de Puntarenas highway, Ruta 4, in Upala, Ruta 136 near Llano Limón between La Garita and Puriscal and the Orotina-Turrubares highway, Ruta 137, all due to collapsed bridges. They will be blocked for weeks.

In all there were five canton roads and 16 national roads closed due to slides or damaged bridges. The updated list is HERE!

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