So far, so good with river being clear of debris from slides

This is the upper part of the Río Guacalito near the Volcán Miravalle where a slide took place Tuesday. Photo: Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias

When someone refers to Costa Rica as being a work in progress, they may have taken a trip into the volcanic central mountains.

There slopes can approach 90 degrees, and strange events take place there that have effects down at the base of the mountains.

When a series of earthquakes took place Tuesday between Upala and Liberia in the central mountains, there were a lot of concerns.

First, some feared that the volcanoes were awakening. Others thought that landslides might create temporary dams that would back up water and then release it with disastrous results.

Of particular concern was the Río Guacalito, which runs along the slopes of the Volcán Miravalle.
An inspection by air showed that there had been slides, but that the river did not become blocked.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias is setting up community meetings to discuss the aftermath of the earthquake and to dispel any rumors, it said.

Some 147 persons are staying with family members because their homes suffered some form of damage. The Colegio de Ingenieros y Arquitectos as well as emergency commission experts will conduct surveys of some 28 damaged homes to see if they can be repaired. Foundations have cracked as well as walls, and the land under some homes has shifted.

There also are three bridges with some form of damage, and roadways with cracks and other problems.

Because of rainy conditions, the commission is keeping an eye on the mountains to be aware of any slides. The rugged terrain is vulnerable.

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