Cruz Roja photo
Rescue crews work to
extract motorists and passengers from the slide area
persons freed from Ruta 32 landslide zone
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
posted at 2:10 p.m.
Highway officials now say that there were three major slides and 11
smaller ones that blocked Ruta 32 north of San José Thursday
The Cruz Roja said it evacuated 1,200 motorists and their passengers
who were trapped on the highway.
Crews have been working since daybreak to open up the highway, but the
work probably will not be finished today especially if the expected
afternoon rains materialize, said the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.
Crews have been working form the north and from the south in the
vicinity of the Zurquí tunnel, and the consejo said early in the
afternoon that all the vehicles had been freed.
The Instituto Meterológico Nacional said that the atmosphere is
unstable and that evaporation from a week of rain is adding moisture to
the air. More heavy rains are expected to last into the night. That
makes the work sites on Ruta 32 dangerous because rains could provoke
The weather institute predicted as much as 60 millimeters of rain, more
than two inches.
The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte
Policía de Tránsito have been on the job since early
Thursday. The Cruz Roja said it brought in workers from Heredia,
José and Guápiles to set up two command centers.
The slides contains mature trees, rocks and other debris.
So far no serious injuries have been reported. Ruta 32 is the
main road to the northern zone and eventually to Limón.
Thursday saw another series of heavy storms in the Central Valley. The
Caribbean coast and parched Guanacaste saw little.
More than an inch of rain fell in San José, according to the
stations maintained by the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.
37.8 millimeters or about 1.49 inches. La Fortuna in the northern zone
saw 55.4 millimeters by 10 p.m. That is 2.18 inches.
There was flooding, heavy runoffs and flooded storm sewers all over the
metro area. Officials are keeping an eye on Ruta 27, the Caldera
highway, too where slides are possible.
The weather institute said that the same conditions were likely for
today: Hot mornings resulting in heavy afternoon downpours. The
prediction said that there would be rain in some sections of the
Pacific coast, too.
|There seems to be an up
tick in head cold sufferers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
There does not seem to be a close association of head colds and rainy
weather, but many sufferers associate the two.
The wettest part of the year approaches, and at the same time colds and
upper respiratory infections proliferate.
Those who are sick can bet that what they have is a simple cold caused
by a virus. Influenza is the cause in probably less than 10 percent of
the illnesses, according to Costa Rican health statistics.
That cold probably is the product of a sneeze by someone else or a bug
picked up from an infected surface. Health authorities universally
recommend hand washing as a protection.
Since children generally have more head colds a year than adults,
school time is also infection time, and the youngsters bring home the
The University of Pennsylvania estimated that there are a billion head
colds in the United States each year, and travelers seem to be more
vulnerable, perhaps due to association with foreign viruses. There are
about 200 viruses associated with the common cold, with rhinoviruses
the most common.
This is the time of year, too, when companies that sell
over-the-counter medications ramp up with advertising.
Still, many rely
on Grandma's remedy, steaming chicken soup.
The average cold lasts from seven to 10 days, but new expats frequently
experience illnesses of longer duration, perhaps because their bodies
are not used to the particular strain of Costa Rican virus.