As of Sunday, more than 1,800 emergencies were responded, related to houses, roads and bridges damaged by the flooding.
- Emergency National Commission photo -

Published on Monday, July 26, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Avoiding scams and frauds are at the heart of the government's new campaign to help people affected by last week’s floods.

Authorities from the National Emergency Commission set up a unique and official Google form, Humanitarian Aid Offering site, to coordinate donations.

Donors must include their contact information and indicate the type of donation, such as: food, clothing, health products, transportation, among others. Once form is submitted, officers authorized by the Commission will be in contact to coordinate the delivery of the donations.

Aside from the intake form to help people impacted by the floods, the Commission had already set up 26 shelters across the country, such as in Turrialba, Matina, Limon city, Talamanca, Sarapiqui, San Carlos, Guatuso, Upala, among others.

The shelters provide a safe place to stay, eat and receive medical care. As of Sunday, approximately 3,000 people were evacuated from their homes already flooded or were located in high-risk flood zones.

Even at the emergency shelters, authorities continue practicing health guidelines to avoid a covid-19 outbreak among people already in need of help.

Families in which a member has been diagnosed positive for covid-19 are kept separate. “People are following the sanitary guidelines to avoid contagion," the Commission said in its statement.

The monitoring department of the Red Cross confirmed on Sunday the discovery of the body of a man who was reported missing due to the floods in Sarapiqui. Three people are still missing.

The Air Surveillance Service flew over Limón and Turrialba to analyze the damage. A segment of the video released by the authorities can be seen on the AM Costa Rica YouTube channel.

On Saturday, the Commission established a Red Alert in the following eight cantons: Upala, Guatuso, San Carlos in Alajuela Province; the canton of Sarapiqui in Heredia Province, in Turrialba Canton of Cartago Province; and the cantons of Matina, Limon city and Talamanca in Limon Province.

The Red Alert status orders the mobilization of families to family homes and temporary shelters.
The specialists ordered an Orange Alert in the rest of the Limon Province, the cantons of Rio Cuarto and Los Chiles in the northern zone of Alajuela Province. The alert is activated when the high-risk situation can cause an emergency to the people in a specific area.

Green Alert was set in the provinces of Puntarenas and Guanacaste. This alert is given when it is anticipated that a meteorological phenomenon endangers a specific area in the country.

Yellow Alert status is in place for the Greater Metropolitan Area (includes cities surrounding San José such as Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago). This alert prepares rescue forces for an increased danger of a natural phenomenon that will affect the population in a specific region.

The government is expected to release a report on the extent of the damage on Monday. As of Sunday, more than 1,800 emergencies were responded, related to houses, roads and bridges damaged by the flooding.
The list of damaged property extends to infrastructure as well, including: Route 32 from San José to Limon; Route 10 from Paraíso to Siquirres; Route 415 in Turrialba; Route 230 from Pacayas toTurrialba; Route 224 from Ujarrás to Paraíso; Route 225 from Cachí to La Suiza; and Route 36 in Bribrí.

Another tropical wave, the number 18 of the green season, is expected to bring more rains into the region, according to the Commission authorities.

The Meteorological Institute reported that the new tropical wave entered the country on Sunday night from the West Coast of Panama. Rains are expected to continue along the Caribbean Coast and the South Pacific Coast during Monday morning. They also expect an increase in the rains in the Central Pacific Coast and the Great Metropolitan Area in the evening.

The intensity of the rains is increasing due to the Intertropical Convergence Zone that is located over Costa Rica. This natural phenomenon is also known by sailors as the doldrums or the calms due to the dull windless weather in the area where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge.

The zone appears as a band of clouds, usually thunderstorms, that circles the globe near the Equator. This caused the overflowing of rivers and floods mainly in the mountainous areas of the country.

Authorities call on the public to take the following precautionary measures:

» Stay informed about the alerts issued by the authorities.

» People living in mountain areas should increase precautionary measures against a possible landslide or material falling from the high areas of the hills.

» Have an emergency evacuation plan in the community, work and home.

» Drivers must increase precautions for heavy rain and fog.

» Take precautionary measures in case of electrical storms.

» Be alert in vulnerable areas to flooding due to sewer saturation or increase of river flow.

» In case of a thunderstorm, take refuge in a safe place.

» In case of strong wind gusts, be alert to possible falling tree branches or electrical cables.

» In the event of a landslide, do not walk on the debris, stay away from affected areas, and do not return home until authorities verify that it is a safe place.

Authorities ask for the people in Costa Rica to call 911 to report any possible flooding, fallen trees or landslides.

A.M. Costa Rica urges readers to share this alert with their contacts.

What have you heard about emergencies in your community due to the rain?
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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