The number of persons seeking shelter from flooding in northeastern Costa Rica doubled Monday. The national emergency commission said that there were six shelters with 458 persons.
The commission also said that 92 communities were affected in some way in the cantons of Matina, Siquirres, Pococí, Sarapiquí, San Carlos and Grecia.
The Instituto Meterológico Nacional said that the rainfall Monday was variable but that there were from 30 to 80 millimeters in some sections of the mountains. That’s a bit more than an inch to more than three inches. Rain in the mountains feeds swelling rivers.
The weather institute did not have good news for the residents of the affected area. It said that rain would continue overnight with perhaps as much as two inches or 50 millimeters over 12 hours.
Rain was expected to continue through Wednesday, it said.
There has been a lot of road damage, and even the main highway, Ruta 32, that links the Central Valley with the Caribbean coast was closed. That was at a bridge over the Río Blanco. The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said the span has become undermined.
One of the new shelters was at Finca Platanar de Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí where 124 persons were housed, said the emergency commission.
Many of the problems are in communities along the Río Sarapiquí which has flooded outside its banks along with some of its tributaries.
Although flooding in May, June and July is nothing new, some of the stricken communities have not had a problem like this for decades.
Despite the rain and the flooded rivers, some motorists tried to cross one. The Cruz Roja said that eight cars, a truck and even a boat required emergency attention. The rescue agency also warned against trying to cross rivers with a horse, something that is usually in this area. In fact, to reach many communities a river must be forded by a vehicle or by persons on foot. That is not a good idea now, said the Cruz Roja.
Inland, the highways presented dangers of landslides.
The Consejo de Vialidad and the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes reported damage to Ruta 126 in the vicinity of the La Paz Waterfall Garden.
Ruta 4 in La Tigre was closed due the constant rain, the agencies added. Other routes are open but might just be one lane. There also may be machinery on the road, the agencies said.