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Killer Floods Continue to Devastate Much of Costa Rica

Costa Rica, C.A.
At least eighteen people are dead and thousands have been displaced after torrential rains pounded Costa Rica this week, flooding large swaths of the country and triggering deadly landslides.

In the worst single incident, 14 people were killed when rains triggered a landslide on October 11, burying seven houses in the town of Atenas, located between San José and the Pacific coast.

On Wednesday, after ten days of downpours, the government declared a national emergency, freeing up funds for disaster efforts in affected areas, which included at least 75 percent of the country.

Late Thursday more than 1800 people were being housed in temporary shelters across the country. The worst of the damage was concentrated in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, where the Tempisque River was among several waterways that burst their banks, and in the central Pacific canton of Parrita, where the Parrita River overflowed and flooded at least 800 homes.

“The water was up to my neck,” said Luz Marina Marchena, a mother from Los Jocotes staying at a shelter in Filadelfia, Carrillo, in Guanacaste. “It happened so fast, we couldn’t save anything.”

COLUMBIA - A total of 43,200 people have been affected in October by intense rains affecting almost all Colombia in the winter season which started this month. Heavy rains have caused ravages in 39 municipalities in 18 of the 32 Colombian departments. The main affectations are due to floods that have affected hundreds of houses and cultivation areas, landslides, and overflowing of rivers and streams. The Institute of Meteorology and Environment Studies warned that intense rains would affect the Andean, Caribbean and Pacific regions of Colombia up to Saturday. Some zones at the center of Colombia would be affected with electric storms and some other things.

BRAZIL - Heavy rain wreaked havoc in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, causing a mudslide that cut off the main tunnel linking the Brazilian city's north and south. An average of 180,000 vehicles go through the Reboucas Tunnel every day and its closing caused huge traffic jams across the city. Five mudslides since late Tuesday had left some 5,000 tonnes of debris in tunnels and there was a risk of more collapses. The Reboucas Tunnel, more than 2 kilometres long, could be closed for up to a week. Power was cut off in some neighbourhoods, causing further traffic jams as traffic lights did not work.

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