Intense storms cause some damage in Arenal area

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

At least seven mudslides are along the road connecting Nuevo Arenal and La Fortuna, reports from the public works ministry indicate.

In addition to the mud, downed trees and flooding are reported in the area, according to a report from the emergency commission. Public works confirmed that there were obstructions on the road preventing passage.

The torrential downpours Wednesday night and early Thursday morning caused the road blockages and infrastructure damage, according to the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias.

These storms forced the emergency commission to put the canton of Tilarán on a yellow alert Thursday afternoon.

The recommendations from the alert are for the population in the affected areas to stay off the roads and not attempt to drive, to check one’s personal supplies of food and water and alert officials immediately if they are missing or lacking anything.

Emergency workers are considering the possibility of setting up a temporary shelter if needed, the Comisión said.

The greatest amount of damage is at Nuevo Arenal, Viejo Arenal and Tilaradora, emergency officials said.

So far, there have been no reports of injured or missing persons coming from official sources.

The Comisión can confirm that there is significant damage to property and livestock in the area in addition to the public infrastructure.

Some of the roads affected by the storm include: Ruta 142 that goes between Arenal and La Fortuna, Ruta 926 between Tronadora and Arenal and the Las Minas bridge over the Río Chiquito among others.

Crews from the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes as well as the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad are working to clear the damage from the roads, officials said.

Meanwhile, emergency workers are looking to provide water to the more than 700 residences who lost drinking water following damage to an aqueduct at Tronadora. The municipality’s emergency commission is surveying the area for more damage.

The Instituto Meteorológico de Costa Rica forecasted that there will be heavy rains expected to accumulate in Guanacaste within the next few hours.

In the Central Valley, Zona Norte and mountains in the Caribbean, rainfall amounts will be between 40 to 70 millimeters between  3 to 6 hours.

“Particularly in Nuevo Arenal and surrounding areas, there will be rains of variable intensity and thunderstorm until late at night accumulated between 30 to 50 millimeters from 3 to 6 hours,” the Costa Rican weather service said in a statement Thursday evening.

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