Slide from canyon wall partly blocks Río Sarapiquí

Some 5,000 cubic meters of rock and soil slid from a canyon wall and into the Río Sarapiquí Thursday, but the nation’s emergency commission said that the river was not blocked completely.

Had the river been blocked, a large quantity of water would have backed up behind the slide and threatened locations downstream with an unexpected breakthrough.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias said it was continuing to monitor the slide area, which is near Ujarrás.

The river there flows through a tree-covered canyon with steep sides.  The emergency commission said that the slide covered about 100 meters, more than 300 feet, of the river.

Geologists did a flyover to study the location. The committee said that the nearest community downstream was La Virgen de Sarapiquí about 20 kilometers from the slide location.  That’s about 12.5 miles.

The committee noted that there are 16 monitoring stations along the river.

As a result of the slide, the downstream portion of the river will be muddy as the river carries away much of the material.

The commission said that recreational activities on the river should be avoided.  They cited rafting, and fishing among others.

There are about 6,539 cubic yards in 5,000 cubic meters.

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