Costa Rica

Costa Rica: Hurricane Eta - DREF Operation (n° MDRCR018 )


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since 30 October 2020, Hurricane Eta's indirect influence has caused rains of variable intensity across Costa Rica, with especially intense rainfall in Pacific areas in the country. According to data provided by the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), preliminary numbers established by National Society assessments and general data from the Operations Coordination Centre, the flooding, landslides, and damage to basic services caused by the indirect impact of Hurricane Eta has affected approximately 5,000 families in the provinces of San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago,
Puntarenas, Guanacaste, and Limón.

In Costa Rica, this system's indirect influence increased as Hurricane Eta approached Nicaraguan territory, causing intense rainfall in Pacific areas on 2, 3, and 4 November and damage to roads and institutional, electrical, aqueduct, and household infrastructure in seven provinces and more than 54 cantons. Furthermore, landslides and flooding have isolated and severely affected communities. The Municipal Emergency Committees (CMEs) and National Risk Management System institutions and field personnel report severe widespread damage in Pacífico Norte and Pacífico Sur, particularly in the cantons of Nicoya, Nandayure and Hojancha in Guanacaste and the cantons of Corredores and Coto Brus in Puntarenas. Reports of widespread damage, isolated populations, flooding, and landslides in Golfito's cantons, Parrita, and Quepos have increased considerably as of 4 November (National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Care (CNE) 2020).

On 10 November, the Executive Power declared a State of National Emergency caused by Hurricane Eta. Authorities have reported that due to flooding caused by overflowing rivers or blocked roads, 23 communities were isolated. At least 79 points of affectation on national roads, 3 bridges, 3 dikes with some affectation, and 20 drinking water systems were reported.2 The CNE has planned an investment of 957 million colones (approximately 1,560,504 American dollars - USD), of which 600 million colones (approximately 978,372 USD) are destined to intervention for the cleaning of roads and the clearing of waterways. Also, food was delivered to 5,690 families impacted by the emergency.3 Summary of the current response Overview of Host National Society Response Action.

Costa Rican Red Cross (CRRC) prepared and mobilized to respond to Hurricane Eta, deploying its capacity, coordinating with humanitarian organizations, and carrying out the following actions:

• Permanent coordination with Costa Rican national authorities through the EOC and the CNE Board of Directors.

• Red Cross actions have focused on the preventive evacuation of the population, search and rescue, out-ofhospital care, and humanitarian supplies management.

• As members of CMEs, institutional representatives integrate and coordinate actions with authorities and civil society representatives.

• On 30 October, the National Society established a Response Level 3, activated the Situation Room to capture and assess information, and activated the CCOs at the regional level.

• The Response Level was raised to 4 on 3 November, and the Emergency Operations Coordination Centre (CECOE) was activated on 5 November.

• Resources have been deployed from different regions in the country to support the most affected areas.

The National Society has several years of experience with Cash and Voucher Assistance. Since the response to the Hurricane Otto emergency (MDRCR015 DREF Operation) with the support of the IFRC, it trained 20 humanitarian workers and members of the institution in Cash and Voucher Assistance, and since then, it has implemented its own programs and has been part of the Cash Hub.