Caribbean coast hit with heavy damage from another tropical wave

A third wave of flooding covered much more of the Caribbean coast and the northern zone. The losses to agriculture are in the millions.

President Luis Guillermo Solís declared a national emergency Sunday, and this will allow moving government funds around to assist in the disaster.

The Ministerio de Educación Pública suspended classes for a week in the affected cantons of  Sarapaquí, Talamanca, Limón, Matina, Pococí, Siquirres, Guácimo and Turrialba

Hit again were the cantons in the northeastern part of the country, but this time the heavy rains caused extensive damage as far south as the border with Panamá. Sections of the high Talamancas were hit hard with with flooding from the Rio Tilire. Some resident were in a shelter there.

Sunday evening the latest toll included:

• 1,585 homes flooded
• 745 persons in shelters
• 18 schools flooded
• 23 roadways damaged
• 11 bridges damaged
• seven dikes breached
• three water lines out of service

Highway 32 was knocked out of service by multiple landslides and the collapse of a bridge at Río Frio. A pedestrian bridge was set up over the gap.

Most of the agricultural damage came when dikes were breached by the adjacent rivers. Hundreds of hectares were flooded.
Also rivers tore off pieces of crop land.

Emergency officials issued a low-level alert for the central and south Pacific over fears that the tropical wave would bring heavy rains and damage there. Rain was expected overnight.

The rains lessened during Sunday daytime, and Cruz Roja workers were able to reach most communities with food and drinking water.

However, there were reports that 12 communities in the canton of Sarapiquí were cut off. Seven other communities also were said to be cut off in other cantons.

The Ministerio de Seguridad said that two Fuerza Pública officers and two agents from the  Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas suffered injuries in trying to help persons on a flooded062015boat that overturned in Barra del Colorado.

A large wave caught the boat and inflicted broken legs on two of the officers, said officials. They were airlifted to the metro area.

Emergency officials are expected to continue the evaluation of the damage today with an emphasis on dikes and bridges.

Unlike emergencies last week, the more recent involved heavy damage in Turrialba where the president toured Sunday.

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