Pacific vacationers are facing extraordinary ocean waves

Officers are on patrol in boats at Río Frío and the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Caño Negro. Photo: Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública

Vacationers on the Pacific coast of the Nicoya peninsula are being greeted by unusually high waves through the end of the week.

Rescue agencies worry about the possibility of rip tides carrying off swimmers. The danger is greater in the morning when the tide is going out, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said.

The sea also was reported to be choppy. There also was a small boat warning for what the weather institute termed extraordinary seas.

There are few lifeguards in that area. Two water deaths already have been reported for the holidays. Neither were on the Pacific coast.

In the rest of the country and particularly in tourism sites, more than 300 Fuerza Pública officers are on duty.

Traffic stops and checkpoints have been set up all over the country.

Already police said Monday that they stopped and checked out 420 persons and arrested 51 on various charges, including drug violations. Confiscated were 41 crack rocks and marijuana, they said

The major part of the police activity were in the cantons of San Carlos, Los Chiles, Upala, Zarcero and Guatuso.

Allan Obando, regional director in the northern zone, said that police were patrolling the tourist sites of la Fortuna, Río Celeste and Río Frio in Los Chiles. He said the efforts were coordinated with immigration agents, the Policía de Tránsito, the Cruz Roja, and the Cuerpo de Bomberos.

Immigration agents said they detained 45 undocumented Nicaraguans at the border and returned them to their home country.

The central immigration office reported that there were 15,000 exits from Costa Rica over the weekend through Monday. The majority were Nicaraguans going home for the holidays.

Kathya Rodríguez Araica. director general de Migración y Extranjería, said that the staff was beefed up at Peñas Blancas and that agents were handling travelers in times ranging from 15 seconds to one minute each.

Last year more than 17,000 persons entered the country there at the end of the Easter holiday.

In most of the country the weather was cooperating. San José got an afternoon sprinkling of just one millimeter at 4 p.m.

That is just four one-hundreds of an inch.

The weather service’s automatic station in La Lucha, Desamparados registered 10.4 millimeters or about four tenths of an inch at the same time. Not typical was the Universidad para la Paz near Ciudad Colon that registered 29.7 millimeters between 2 and 5 p.m. That’s 1.2 inches.

Elsewhere there seemed to be little rainfall, and temperatures were seasonably hot.

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