Rocks close Interamericana Norte adding more damage

Rocks, described as being of big proportions, fell on the Interamericana Norte Monday at Cambronero, and officials closed the vital highway.

They said the situation would be evaluated today. They added that a bailey bridge installed nearby due to another weather-related mishap was not damaged in the fall of rocks. They suggested the Autopista del Sol as an alternate route.

That was the latest in weather-related incidents as the country tried to assess and repair the damage from four days of heavy rains.

The Interamericana Sur remains closed between Palmar Norte and Paso Real due to landslides and the rupture of a water line. The highway has been out of service for two weeks, but now there are alternate routes. The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes noted that other stretches of the highway would be closed during the week because heavy machinery was clearing landslides. The work today will be at a point called Casa Mata. The route will be closed two hours at a time.

The national emergency commission said that good weather Monday aided in the evaluation of damage. Among areas inspected were agricultural fields near Parrita.

The commission said that 10 shelters with 542 persons remain in use, mainly in Escazú, Tarrazú, Acosta, Aserrí and Corredores. Aircraft still were providing food to at least five isolated communities.
The bulk of those in shelters, some 451, come from Calle Lajas and Bajo Los Anonos in Escazú. Calle Lajas was where a slide killed 21 persons early Nov. 4.

The Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados said that the Puente de Mulas water treatment facility was back in service and the Escazú, Santa Ana and sections of Desamparados and San José that had been without water were now getting some. Work still was taking place on water lines in Parrita, Acosta and Orotina.

The commission had 120 pieces of equipment at work helping communities clear roads, it said. In the western Nicoya Peninsula, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said it installed bailey bridges over the rios Frio and Torito and that two more were going in over the Río Fruta de Pan and Río Pilas de Canjel. The bridges at that location were taken out by flooding prompted by Tropical Storm Tomas.

In the northern zone another bailey bridge is going up over the Río La Penca between Guatuso and Colonia de Puntarenas. A heavy truck loaded with lumber collapsed a previous bailey bridge at this point in the early days of the storm.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said that the extent of the damage made repairs slow in Parrita, Acosta, Frailes de Desamparados and Aserrí. Some 400 customers remain without service in Pueblo Nuevo de Parrita, Near Acosta, the company was installing nearly two kilometers of fiber optic cable. In Aserrí even the utility poles were destroyed.

Workmen are placing a new bailey bridge at Pilas de Canjel in Nandayure, Guanacaste, replacing one destroyed by the storm.
Photo: Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes

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