Heavy storms lashed the Central Valley Thursday, and in no place was the damage greater than in Heredia.
The Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica confirmed the death of one woman who was killed by a falling tree in Guararí. A number of homes lost their roofs. Others suffered major leaks.
The Bomberos said that strong winds took roofs from seven homes and damaged the roofs of 27. Unofficial estimates were greater.
The Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz said that parts of Heredia were without power during much of the afternoon. They characterized the winds as a tornado that hit the area about 1 p.m. The areas most affected were Los Lagos, Bajos del Virilla, Santa Rosa de Santo Domingo, and San Francisco de Heredia, the company said.
In Los Lagos about 400 meters east of the Catholic church there a tree fell on power lines and pulled town three utility poles, it said. The strong winds also made signs airborne, and this brought down another utility pole and damaged another, the company said.
Three signs also fell on utility lines near the church of Santa Rosa and affected power to surrounding areas. Fire fighters said that storm sewers also were flooding and that the Río Pirro in Guararí flooded and displaced 20 persons from their homes. Officials were setting up a shelter in La Lucía de Guararí and one in Liceo de Heredia.
One of the buildings with a damaged roof was the Colegio Samuel Saénz Flores, and that caused the evacuation of the students there, said the fire agency.
The Walmart facility in Heredia also suffered roof damage and the Hospital San Vicente de Paúl lost windows on its fifth floor, the agency added.
The Bomberos noted it was working in conjunction with the Cruz Roja, Fuerza Pública, the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias, the Municipalidad de Heredia, and the Ministerio de Salud.
Heavy rain hit the downtown of San José, too, and there were some branches and trash in the street, but no serious damage was reported.
The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that rainfall was between 50 and 90 millimeters during the day. That’s between 2 and 3.5 inches. It also issued a warning about lighting.
Traffic was tied up all over the Central Valley through the evening rush hour, and there were a flurry of minor accidents caused by skidding or reduced visibility.