Slide threat gets an inspection by experts on ground

At least 10 families will have to be relocated because they are endangered by the Cerro el Tablazo. The situation will only become more critical as the rainy season continues, experts agree.

The mountain that is likely to produce more slides is near Higuito de Desamparados. The location is one of a handful that the national emergency commission is inspecting from the air and on the ground.

Experts were at the top of a previous slide Thursday morning and generally concluded that the area is stable for now, the commission said.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias said that the team of experts were accompanied by Ivan Brenes, commission president, and Maureen Fallas Fallas, the Desamparados mayor

The mayor said that a list of endangered families has been submitted to the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social and the Ministerio de la Vivienda for possible financial help.

The commission is keeping a 24-hour watch on the mountain. Cameras and a weather station are being installed at several locations, including the Escuela Higuito. The commission also is putting into service a system of alerts and also providing training for residents in vulnerable areas.

Other areas prone to slides are El Burío in Aserrí, Potrerillos in Acosta, La Cascabela in Alajuelita and in Santiago de Puriscal.

Emergency officials are well aware of the dangers.

In Calle Lajas in San Antonio de Escazú 20 persons died when a cascade of mud and rocks swept away their homes in November 2010.

Then there was the mudslide in the U.S. state of Washington that claimed 43 lives in February.

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