National Emergency

Trip Start Oct 04, 2010
Trip End Dec 17, 2012

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Flag of Costa Rica  , San José,
Friday, November 5, 2010

The last couple of days and tropical
storm Tomás have brought us inordinate amounts of rain, which in
turn brought natural disasters such as landslides, floods,
overflowing rivers and more. President Chinchilla has declared a
state of national emergency, due to the dangers of this heavy
rainfall. The flash floods and landslides have brought about the
deaths of more than twenty people, as well as the injury and
displacement of many more. The worst of the damage is in the town of
San Antonio de Escazú, where the mudslides buried at least five
homes. Over 1000 people are currently displaced and living in in
“albergües¨, or refugee shelters.
The news is showing rescuers digging in
the mud to dig out victims. In other areas, overflowing rivers have
inundated a large number of homes, and landslides have blocked a
large number of roads. San Antonio supposedly received 6.3 inches of
rain in just two hours on Wednesday, and many people were buried
alive as they slept.
In my community, we have a couple of
landslides, and no running water. The health ministry has recommended
that those with water boil it before consumption. Since we have no
water, we´ve been catching rain water in buckets, and boiling what
water we drink. We lost electricity on Thursday, but luckily that
came back. My host family uses all kinds of electric gadgets to cook.
For example, we have an electric tea kettle, and electric rice
cooker, and an electric skillet. Therefore, when the lights went out,
we were at a loss as to how we were going to make food! Luckily, the
neighbor had a gas range, which he brought down to our house, where
my mom made food for all of us. I feel really lucky that the worst
thing that happened to me was that I'm without water. Supposedly,
we're going to get water back within 20 days, because the trucks
can't come into town to fix the pipe damage, and they can't fix the
roads into town until it stops raining.All in all, I feel pretty safe. I just
hope the rain stops soon so more damage is precluded.
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