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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 6, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 46
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Emergency commission expresses its concern about Turrialba volcano
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national emergency commission said that scientific indications suggest that the Turrialba volcano is headed to an event of great magnitude.

The commission issued the summary after a meeting of its board of directors. It said that although eruptions cannot be predicted that preparations are important at the family and community level.

Many neighbors of the volcano already have moved to other areas. Still there are some farmers and their milk cows remaining. Some farmers are commuters who drive there daily to take care of their animals.

The commission, formally the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias, is seeking
to fix up the access roads to the communities around the volcano so that they are ready for any needed evacuation.

The commission is basing its efforts on a study done of material ejected from the volcano last Oct. 29. The material contained magma that is suggestive of an eventual full-scale eruption. The material shows that magma is moving toward the surface.

The mountain is emitting mostly steam and gas now. The acidic gas is causing damage to the vegetation where it lands.

The commission's announcement did not mention the efforts by politicians and tourism operators to reopen the national park adjacent to the volcano. But it did stress the continual menace that the volcano represents.

The commission said that it is working with local emergency committees to set up simulations to provide training.


Vandalism puts elevator for the handicapped out of service
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The elevator at the pedestrian bridge in Quesada Duran lasted less than a month. The elevator when into service in the first half of February. Wednesday some vandal damaged the internal doors.

The elevators are installed at pedestrian bridges where there is no room to build access ramps for the disabled. Each of three pedestrian bridges have two elevators. The six elevators cost $1.3 million.

The elevators have internal security cameras, but the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, the road agency, did not say if they captured the vandalism.

The damaged elevator is on the bridge over the Circunvalación.


elevator
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad  photo
The disabled will have to take the stairs.


Ms. Chinchilla shares the basement with president of Venezuela
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The jury still is out on the approval rating of President Luis Guillermo Solís in comparison with other Latin leaders.

Vanderbilt University's survey of approval ratings that was published Thursday showed that Costa Rica shared the cellar with Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro. But what the summary did not say was that the Maduro rating was from February 2014 and that the Costa Rican rating stemmed for late April and the first week of May, also 2014. Those dates were deep within the methodology details. A reader pointed out the discrepancy.

The approval estimate comes from a time when the president here was Laura Chinchilla and not Solís.

On a scale from 0 to 100, Maduro scored an average of 34.3 in presidential job approval, according to the survey. That places Venezuela at the very bottom of its Latin American and Caribbean counterparts.

The rating for Costa Rica is 37. Most of the other countries in the region score in the 50s and 60s.

Ms. Chinchilla's lack of public support was well known at the time and clearly shown by the strong voter support for Solís, who was the candidate of the Partido Acción Ciudadana.

Solís seems to be having some image problems now, but that is not reflected by the Vanderbilt study.

The university muddied the waters a bit by making extensive mention of Maduro's current problems in Venezuelan, including the fact that he just had arrested opposition figure Antonio Ledezma, mayor of Caracas, on conspiracy charges for an alleged coup plot against the president.

Recent reports that 220,000 workers are unemployed as well as a declining economy and lack of governmental transparency have eroded support for Solís in the last few months.

In December a Universidad de Costa Rica poll estimated that just 40.2 percent of the public thought he was doing a good or very good job.

However, a CID Gallup Latinoamérica report in October said he had a 66 percent approval rating.

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