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Tuesday 25 November 2008, San José, Costa Rica 

One Dead, 5.000 in Shelters Due To Rain in Limón
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One Dead, 5.000 in Shelters Due To Rain in
One dead, some 5.000 evacuated in 39 communities, 17 towns cut off and 28 roads affected are the result of the rain that has been falling on the Caribbean coast for the last five days.

The areas of Sixaola and Bribri, on the southern part of the province of Limón are completely cut off from the rest of the country, and the water is also threatening the plantations and livelihood of many of the residents.

The Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE) - national emergency commission - along with the Cruz Roja Costarricense (Red Cross) and government agencies, have been busy trying to get to the affected, providing shelters, food and fresh water.

However, the rain is not ceasing.

The areas north of Limón are now also being affected. Sarapiquí and Puerto Viejo in Heredia are under water. The area of La Fortuna in San Carlos and the Northern Zone is also being affected by the constant rain.

The Red Cross' Dirección Nacional de Socorros y Operaciones said it is keeping personnel on full alert for an undefined time, making resources of manpower and supplies available to the affected communities.

Guillermo Arroyo, director of the Dirección , assured residents that the Red Cross will maintain a "red alert" status in the area and dispatch personnel and equipment as needed.

Daniel Gallardo, CNE president, explained that the rain has affected the area completely and passage on route 32, the, Braulio Carrillo, between San José and Limón is completely closed due to mudslides and flooding. Alternate routes are also affected and is best to check with local transit authorities before heading out.

For their part, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) is being kept busy as work crews and machinery are working around the clock to reopen roads, though the section between Siquirres and Limón is an impossibility with the overflowing of its banks of the Chirripó river.

The Instituto Meteriologico Nacional (IMN) - the national weather service - says a low pressure system is stationed over the Caribbean province and the rain is expected to continue to at least Wednesday and may into Friday, as a new cold front is expected to hit the country.




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