Crooks take advantage of quake fears to raid homes

In the wake of a major earthquake, crooks are playing on fear to prey on the population.

The national emergency commission said Sunday that rumors and speculation are being generated to cause persons to flee their homes in vulnerable areas so that the crooks can raid the dwellings.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias urged residents to accept information only from official sources.

The commission said that such burglaries have been reported in Liberia and Cóbano. The commission said that rumors have been circulated since Saturday of a new earthquake, tsunamis and similar. It noted that even earthquake experts cannot predict quakes.

Meanwhile the number of persons who are being housed by the government has been reduced to just 61. They are in Grecia, Sarchí and Naranjo.

The Ministerio de Educación Pública said that there was several millions of dollars damage to schools and that more than 50 will have to be demolished or extensively reconstructed due to quake damage. Officials are trying to find locations where classes can be held temporarily. The bulk of the damaged schools are in the area most affected by Wednesday’s 7.6 magnitude quake.

That is in the Nicoya peninsula.

There have been more aftershocks. Most are in the 2 to 3 magnitude ranges, but one at 2:29 Saturday afternoon was 5.6. It was located near the Wednesday epicenters off Sámara in the Pacific Ocean.

A quake Sunday afternoon was felt in the Central Valley. It was 4.1, said the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico. The epicenter was in the Pacific south of the tip of the peninsula.

Work on highways, roads and damaged homes is being complicated by rain. Much of the country was supposed to get an inch or more of rain Sunday afternoon and evening. That follows some heavy rains Saturday. Shawn Maricle who has a private weather station in Tamarindo said that his area received 3.48 inches of rain Saturday night.

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