Costa Rica: Floods (MDRCR017) Emergency Plan of Action

Description of the disaster

On 2 October 2018, the IMN warned of a low-pressure system coming in from the south-western Caribbean Sea, which activated an Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone over the country and over the waters of the Pacific (Meteorological Report # 2). On 4 October, IMN detected two other low-pressure systems (Meteorological Report #8), one in the Caribbean near the Nicaraguan coast and another in the Pacific in western Costa Rica, that led to even more intense rainfall and severe weather conditions along the Pacific coast and slightly milder conditions in other parts of the country. Rains of varying intensity fell in Pacific regions and even in the Central Valley. The greatest amount of rainfall was recorded in the Nicoya Peninsula and the Central Pacific, where between 50 to150 mm over a period of 24 hours. 125,190 people were affected by the floods.

Meteorological Report #16, which was issued on 5 October, revealed that more than 300 mm of rain fell over several areas in the North Pacific and Central Pacific on 4 and 5 October. The highest concentration of rain and floods were seen in the districts of Lepanto, Paquera and Puntarenas (Central) andin Tárcoles, Garabito, Parrita and Quepos in the Central Pacific and North Pacific coastal strip. Over a period of 24 hours, IMN reported 400 mm of accumulated rainfall in Paquera, 255 mm in Hojancha, 206 mm in Cuajiniquil, 145 mm in Sardinal, 71 mm in Liberia and Bagaces, and between 100 and 140 mm in the Central Pacific; this led to increased water levels in the Naranjo, División Saveegre and Tempisque Rivers and in lower areas of the Abangares River.