Tropical depression turns into a hurricane but far from here

Tropical Storm Rina became Hurricane Rina Monday as it moved northwest along the coast of Honduras. The storm appeared to be far enough from Costa Rica so that the effects were minimal. Most were on the Pacific coast.

But not even San José was spared. The national emergency commission said that 13 families lost their homes when they slide into the Río Torres. The municipality is handling that crisis as are central government social workers.

In all there were about 223 persons still in shelters Monday and perhaps 1,000 who had been affected in some way.

Golfito and Guanacaste had the bulk of the persons in shelters.

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said Monday night that workers had succeeded in opening the Rio Claro-Paso Canoas route. The Interamericana Sur still was being worked on by road crews. There also was work going on in Cabronero on the Interamericana Norte.

The Interamericana Sur at Casa Mata collapsed into an adjacent ravine. Workers are plowing a road lane into the west side of the highway.

The Consejo said that there still were 37 routes that were closed because of flooding or landslides. Some 61 more were restricted in some way, usually to one lane.
The Consejo said that telephone lines still were being attended to help motorists learn about closed roads. The numbers are 2202-5567 and 2202-5577. They are in service form 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., the Consejo said.

President Laura Chinchilla will be attending today a special meeting of Central American presidents to evaluate the damage from the two weeks of heavy rains. The session is in El Salvador.

The Central American states to the north suffered more from the storms than did Costa Rica. The hurricane still is near Honduras.

The storm is headed toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and the tourist spots there.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says readings obtained by an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft show the storm reached minimal hurricane strength with 120 kph winds.

The center urged authorities in Belize and on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula to monitor the storm’s progress, which is expected to become a major hurricane by late today.

The projected path shows Rina moving northwest and reaching the coast of the Yucatan peninsula by Friday.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to produce rainfall of up to 10 centimeters in the Cayman Islands to the east.

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