Tropical depression surprises nation from the Pacific

While attention was centered on the Atlantic, a tropical depression crept up from Panamá Wednesday night and sowed flooding and destruction. One victim was the Caldera highway where tons of dirt slid onto the roadway Thursday. Crews were still trying to open the vital link to the Pacific coast and Atenas.

The U.S. Hurricane Center said the Pacific depression, named Eight-E, had dissipated and was along the southwestern coast of México at midnight.

The storm hit southern Costa Rica and then worked its way up the Pacific coast. From San José early Thursday flashes of lightning could be seen in the distance in the south and west.

Flooding was reported by the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional in Pérez Zeledón, Quepos and other parts of the Pacific coast. Playas del Coco was also reported to have been hit with heavy rains and flooding. Rivers ran out of their banks.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias said that high winds swept the Caribbean coast.

The commission said that high seas were recorded along the Pacific coast, especially in Playas del Coco and that four boats were destroyed in Aguirre and a house in Barrio Cocal, Quepos. The commission opened a public shelter for 23 persons on the Pacific coast.

The commission said it expected the high seas to diminish by Sunday but that Monday would see a return to current conditions.

The commission said persons in these communities should take appropriate action: Playas del Coco, Nosara, Sámara, Carrillo, Herradura, Jacó, Hermosa, Palo Seco, Esterillos, Ballena, Isla Damas, Boca Vieja, Zancudo and Pavones.

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