Published Monday, July 6, 2020

Yellow Alert along Pacific Coast
due to new tropical wave

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The authorities of the National Commission of emergencies declared an alert change from green to yellow because of the new tropical wave, number 16 of the green season.

The Yellow Alert serves as an announcement for the rescue forces to prepare for an increased danger of a natural phenomenon that will affect the population in a specific region.

In the event of a Yellow Alert, the emergency committees of each community must prepare prevention protocols. Citizens must take precautions in their homes, places of study or work. Also, people must be attentive to the communication alerts that the Emergency Commission provides. Rescuers must be prepared for the search or rescue of people and respond to emergency calls.

The Yellow Alert applies along the Pacific Coast (Northern Zone of Alajauela, Guanacaste and Puntarenas provinces) and Central Valley.

The Central Valley includes cities englobed in the conurbation of San Jose such as Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago.

According to the Commission, in the last 24 hours, the tide and rivers have increased in the coastal areas.

The rains during the weekend caused floods affecting mainly the cantons of San Ramón, Grecia, Parrita, Quepos, Puriscal, Nicoya, and Garabito. Those areas reported flooded roads, flooded neighborhoods, landslides and fallen trees, according to authorities.

One shelter was set up in Nicoya, Guanacaste Province, where 12 people have been there since Friday.

In the case of the Caribbean Coast (Limon Province), the Green Alert remains. This alert informs when it is anticipated that a meteorological phenomenon endangers a specific area in the country. The authorities activated the community's emergency commissions to take action due to forecasted weather-related dangers. Residents must be informed about official news related to the development of natural phenomenons that could be potentially dangerous.

The National Meteorological Institute forecasts the continuity of intense thunderstorms in the afternoon and early evening. In addition to this, heavy rains have left a high level of water saturation in the soils throughout the whole country.

Light drizzles are also forecasted in the country's mountainous areas. In the afternoon and early evening, rainy activity associated with local factors combined with the influence of the Intertropical Convergence Zone on the country is expected.

The Intertropical Convergence Zone, known by sailors as the doldrums or the calms due to the dull windless weather, is 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.

The emergency specialists released a series of home care recommendations to avoid accidents, due to the beginning of the green season where there is a strong increase in rainfall throughout the country.

Among the main recommendations to avoid damage to structures and emergencies:

• Keep the roofs of your houses clean.

• Clearing a path in the backyard allows rainwater to move without problems towards the drainage, which helps in avoiding damages and leaks in the house.

• Pick up the garbage so that it does not fall on the pipes or drains on the sidewalks.

• Avoid that solvents, oils, acids or corrosive liquids that can fall into the sewer pipes and deteriorate them.

• Organize the cleaning of public areas such as river banks in your community to avoid flooding.

• Report the lack of concrete caps or grids in the pipes to the Aqueduct Institute by calling 2547-6555.

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 evacuation emergency 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 emergencies have you heard of due to the thunderstorms in your community?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to