Monday, November 24, 2008

Weather article

In case the link doesn't come through, here is the article on our current weather situation.

Caribbean endures another pounding by Mother Nature

By Elyssa Pachico and the A.M. Costa Rica staffThe Caribbean coast is taking it on the chin again with rains and flooding spawned by a cold front. Some 32 communities have been affected, and up to 2,100 persons are in shelters, according to the Cruz Roja,The national emergency commission said that rain had not let up Sunday in the coastal mountains, and rivers in Limón province continued to swell. The agency cited problems with the Barbilla and Chirripó rivers in Matina, the Pacuare and Reventazón in Siquirres, the Parismina in Guacimo, the Sarapiquí and the Sixaola.Isolated communities in the Talamanca are likely to be hard hit, but so far they are cut off from communications. On the coast, the community of Sixaola was awash from the river of the same name.Puerto Viejo de Talamanca suffered damage to a bridge leading to town, and pedestrians were forced to cross part of the way on two wood planks.The problems were not just confined to the Provincia de Limón. Five homes were damaged heavily in San Jerónimo de Moravia in the metropolitan area by a slide. There were slides around Parque Nacional Brauilo Carrillo on route 32, in the Cordillera central, the central mountains. However, passage remained open with some restrictions.Near Guápiles an ambulance with five persons aboard overturned due to the weather and three persons including a child were injured seriously.Driving all over the Caribbean coast and the northern zone was challenging because in addition to the rain and flooded highways, thick fog developed in places.The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias estimated that 1,244 persons were victims of the storm in Talamanca alone. The highway to the border with Panamá was cut in several places, officials reported. In Panamá itself, heavy damage was reported in Bocas de Toro.In Matina, the commission said that at least 400 homes were flooded out.The Cruz Roja had three boats circulating in flooded areas picking stranded individuals form the roofs of homes.Along the coast the sea was raging with waves as much as two meters (more than six feet) above normal. In the Central Valley high winds knocked down trees and power lines.
The emergency commission continued high alerts for the Caribbean and the northern zone.Limón experienced 125 mm (about 5 inches) of rain Saturday with 85 mm (3.3 inches) more Sunday, according to the automatic weather station at the Limón airport maintained by the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional. Reports from Puerto Viejo say that four straight days of rain have overwhelmed the road to Cahuita with landslides, fallen power lines and trees. Additionally, the concrete bridge at the main entrance to Puerto Viejo was jerked askew by flooding. That is where people have been forced to walk over a makeshift bridge consisting of two planks.The emergency commission has been monitoring several at-risk areas in Limón, re-evaluating possible risk of floods every three hours, it said. Two temporary refuges haves been created in Matina for people forced to evacuate their homes, one for 42 people in Hone Creek and another for 96 people from 4 Millas. Another temporary refuge was created in the Escuela Caterina in Sixaola to prepare locals for the possibility of rising waters. Officials hoped that by relocating the population early on, residents will avoid worst case scenarios, such as seeking shelter from rising floodwaters on rooftops, or being forced to call for emergency rescue at night. Some 230 people sought refuge in Hone Creek, with two families consisting of 12 people seeking refuge at the local school, Escuela de Catalina.The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional has said that the rains are likely to continue the rest of this week, even though the cold front that has ravaged eastern Costa Rica is slowly dissipating. Most of the rainy weather has been caused by a low-pressure front stretching from Panama to the Caribbean coast.This weekend alone, winds in San José became as strong as 90 kph (56 mph). Today, winds in San José, the Caribbean region and Guanacaste are expected to be as strong as 30 to 70 kph (18-44 mph).In the Caribbean, winds will continue to be as strong as 30 to 35 kph (18 to 22 mph) with waves as high as two to three meters (from 6.5 to 10 feet). The Pacific will see winds between 50 and 55 kph (31 to 34 mph), with waves as high as 2.3 meters (7.5 feet). Neither ocean is suitable for sailing this week, said the Comisión de Emergencias.The real extent of the damage will not be known for several weeks. In addition to flooded homes, damaged roads and bridges and washouts, agriculture and tourism have taken big hits.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Oh Barrett, I am sorry!!! How are you guys??