Costa Rica

Costa Rica: Floods Emergency Appeal Final Report (MDRCR016)



Description of the disaster

From 21 September to 6 October 2017, a Zone of Inter-Tropical Convergence (ZIC), characterized by the entry of humidity from the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, caused Tropical Storm Nate to develop on 5 October 2017, which generated flooding throughout Costa Rica. Tropical Storm Nate generated heavy rains, with an average of 400 liters per square meter, which is equivalent to the total precipitation of October, as well as winds and storm surges, causing flooding and landslides, widespread infrastructural damage and the destruction of public property. Flooding from the storm disrupted agricultural production and local ecosystems and injured people in the affected areas, leading the Costa Rican president to declare a state of emergency for 76 cantons; the 17 most affected cantons were: Dota, Leon Cortez, Tarrazu (Los Santos zone), Acosta, Aserri (central valley), Buenos Aires, Coto Brus, Perez Zeledon (south zone), Quepos, Parrita, Montes de Oro, Puntarenas (central Pacific), La Cruz, Carillo, Santa Cruz, Canas and Bagaces (north Pacific). The storm affected Costa Rica’s road network, bridges, housing and agricultural sectors, water and sewer system and schools most severely. Costa Rica’s change of government in May 2018 delayed the implementation of some the operation’s activities because it limited the use of government personnel and resources for operational activities.