Panama and Costa Rica – Floods Prompt Rescues and Evacuations

Heavy rain and strong winds have affected parts of Panama and Costa Rica over the last few days with warnings of more rain and severe weather to come.


Yesterday, the National Civil Protection System (Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil de la República de Panamá- SINAPROC) in Panama issued alerts for the provinces of Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro and Veraguas. Further heavy rain is expected over the next 5 days.

In David, Chiriquí Province, 136.9 mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 17 November. In Santiago de Veraguas, capital of the province of Veraguas, 55.2 mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 16 November.

In Chiriquí, flooding has been reported in the districts of Alanje, Chiriquí Viejo, Nueovo Mexico, Majagual and Querebalos. As of yesterday, 82 houses have been damaged and 280 people affected in Chiriquí province as a result of several rivers overflowing, including the Palo Blanco, Gariche, Rabo de Puerco, El Colorado and Chiriquí Viejo.

Teams from SINAPROC have carried out evacuations in communities living along the Chiriquí Viejo river. Some displaced families are staying in temporary shelter set up in schools in Majagual, Barú District, Chiriquí.

Parts of the province of Los Santos have also been flooded after the La Villa River overflowed, according to SINAPROC. Around 30 houses have been damaged and around 100 people affected in the districts of Villa Bonita, El Balo and El Paso.

Photos below from SINAPROC are of the flood rescues and evacuations in Chiriquí province.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) declared a preventive alert for the Southern Pacific region. The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) say that a system of low pressure will generate rainfall throughout the country, particularly the Southern Pacific region.

CNE say that flooding has already affected the cantons of Golfito, Osa and Corredores, in the province of Puntarenas. Rivers and streams have overflowed and there have been reports of some landslides. The were also reports of flooding in several areas of the Caribbean province of Limón.