High winds cause one death and havoc in much of the country

While heavy winds raked the Central Valley and much of the northern and central Pacific coast, the northern zone and parts of the Caribbean were drenched.

The national emergency commission declared a preventative alert for both coasts because of wind and high seas and asked that boats be not allowed to leave port. And an additional alert covered all of the national territory because of the winds.

A taxi driver died in Barrio Cerros, Liberia, when a tree fell on his vehicle. That was one of 159 emergencies that brought out firefighters Tuesday and Wednesday. There were 123 incidents of trees falling, firefighters said.

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad closed Ruta 32 to Río Frio at 6 p.m. Wednesday because of wind and the possibility of the repetition of falling material that took place Tuesday afternoon. The key highway was supposed to reopen today at 9 a.m.

The Cruz Roja Costarricense, the Cuerpo de Bomberos, the Fuerza Pública and traffic police were occupied for more than 24 hours attending to emergencies.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said that 50,000 persons were affected by outages.

The state power company said that service has been restored in Turrialba, La Alegría de Siquirres, San Ramón and Ciudad Quesada. In all, it said, there were 300 outages that work crews handled. The firm also said there were lesser problems in Alajuela, Naranjo, Abangares, Santa Elena, Tilarán, Guayabo, Santa Rita, Nosara and La Cruz, as well as the central Pacific.

Rains and rising rivers and streams caused some flooding. In

Fire fighters remove part of a fallen tree at an Heredia home.

Fire fighters remove part of a fallen tree at an Heredia home.

Banacol de Siquirres 32 homes were flooded, and on the Caribbean coast in Batán, Matina, there were 10 homes affected, said the emergency commission.
There was up to 260 millimeters (10 inches) of rain in the northern zone and parts of the Caribbean coast, said the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional. The winds of up to 60 mph were expected to continue through today, and the rain might stick around through Friday, the institute said.

The country from San Isidro del General south appears to have avoided much of the bad weather.

The emergency commission issued a strongly worded warning to bathers citing the danger of  rip tides provoked by the wind-whipped high seas.

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