|Massive evacuation Thursday will shut
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The disaster simulation Thursday morning will be a massive event. The
national emergency commission said that 94 buildings will be emptied
and some 60,000 persons will be moved to open locations like Parque la
Sabana starting at 10 a.m..
Expats probably should not count on getting any business handled that
morning. The disaster is scheduled to last through the morning. At 11
a.m. rescue workers are scheduled to respond to a collapsed building to
That will be near the statue of LeŪn CortČs in Parque la
The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said that its workers and
employees at its subsidiaries, such as Radiogr·fica
Costarricense S.A. and the CompaŅĢa Nacional de Fuerza y
Luz, would participate. That includes 6,500 workers and 30 buildings,
the state company said.
In case of a real disaster, these firms that distribute power and
Internet services will have their hands full. Thursday company
officials are estimating an interruption of service to customers for
about an hour,
Slogan calls for a prepared city
although that may be optimistic.
Organizers are the ComisiŪn Nacional de
PrevenciŪn del Riesgo y
AtenciŪn de Emergencias, the Red de ComitČs de
Emergencia de los
Centros de Trabajo de San JosČ and the Municipalidad de San
The simulation is no surprise. There have been posters for several
weeks in key buildings such as Hospital Clinica Biblica. The evacuated
workers are expected to gather at Parque Nacional, the Plaza
Democracia, the Plaza de las GarantĢas Sociales on Avenida 4,
boulevard in front of Correos de Costa Rica and at Avenida 5, Calle 1,
said an announcement.
Downtown workers need no training. They usually fill the streets when
an earthquake is felt. Simulation organizers have not laid out the
scenario of the emergency, but with collapsed buildings, the disaster
is almost certainly an earthquake. That probably is the only emergency
that would require large quantities of people heading for open areas.
|No break seen in El NiŅo
conditions until mid-2016
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
America always has been vulnerable to droughts.
A prolonged drought from 800 to 1000 A.D. destroyed the classical Mayan
civilization. Whole cities were abandoned.
Sometime in the last quarter of the 13th century similar weather
conditions destroyed the Anasazi civilization in the U.S.
Costa Rica is reeling today under a drought that is unprecedented in
historical times. The Anasazi and the Mayas did not know the
cause, but today scientists point to El NiŅo, an unusual slug of
warm water in the distant Pacific.
The World Meteorological Organization expects El NiŅo to
strengthen and peak by the end of the year. "Typically El NiŅo
events peak late in the calendar year," said the U.N. agency in a
Surface water temperatures in the east-central tropical Pacific Ocean
are likely to exceed 2 degrees C above average, potentially
placing this El NiŅo event among the four strongest even since
1950, the agency said, listing other strong events as those
in 1972-73, 1982-83 and 1997-98.
For Costa Ricans El NiŅo means that Guanacaste has received
rainfall this year that is from 85 to 40 percent less than normal,
according to the Instituto MeteorolŪgico Nacional. The impact on
agriculture is devastating in a province that is generally dry anyway.
And the outlook does not appear to be any better. In Guanacaste, the
weather institute says that the rainfall shortage will be between 40 to
70 percent and from 10 to 50 percent down the Pacific coast. The
central government last year declared a state of emergency. Some towns
are having their water trucked in.
By contrast, the northern zone and the Caribbean coast have been
wetter. And that
Instituto MeteorolŪgico Nacional
The reality of the drought in Guanacaste.
MeteorolŪgico Nacional graphic
The prognosis for the rest of the year.
is expected to continue with rainfall from 30 to 60
percent above normal over the rest of the year.
El NiŅo has other impacts. The Atlantic hurricane season is
be among the mildest while the Pacific season has hit a record: There
are three full-blown hurricanes in the Pacific now.
The El NiŅo phenomenon is expected to last through the first
next year and then begin to decay, said the World Meteorological
Organization, which based its estimate on previous El NiŅo