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New Dike Proposal for Nosara Meets with Doubts
• Project will cost over $3 million
• New community emergency committee named for Nosara

By Arianna McKinney

In a behind-schedule effort to comply with a resolution issued by the constitutional court (Sala Constitucional), engineers from SENARA (Servicio Nacional de Aguas Subterráneas Riego y Avenamiento) on Thursday, February 3rd presented a proposal to build an eight-meter-wide (24 feet) dike and sections of dikes using high-quality materials to diminish the impact of the flooding of the Nosara River during heavy rains. More than 75 people turned out for the presentation, and several aired concerns about the cost and effectiveness of the project.

Engineer Alvaro Gonzalez estimated that the project will cost 1,579,325,000 colones ($3,158,650) to be funded by the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE-National Emergency Commission) and could be completed within 120 days, hopefully before the next heavy rains hit. The date to begin the works is not confirmed. Vanessa Rosales, President of the CNE, had announced that she would attend the meeting but she wasn’t there, reportedly because she was called to an urgent meeting in the Presidential House.


After technical studies, the proposal was designed to focus on the most heavily populated areas affected by flooding. However, Gonzalez stressed, “It is a proposal; it isn’t definite.” He explained that they still need to evaluate how the dike system would affect the mangroves at the lower end of the river. Answering a question about the possibility of diverting the course of the Nosara river, Gonzalez said “We do not want to change the natural course of the river.”

In 2007 the CNE invested ¢140 million colones ($280,000) in the construction of a dike, but the first flood waters destroyed the work. The proposed dike project would cost more than 10 times that amount. Several in attendance questioned whether the money might be better spent in other ways, and some expressed concern about specific areas, such as the San Ramon neighborhood, not being taken into consideration by the proposal.

Members of the CNE agreed to allow people eight working days to express their concerns in writing so the engineers can incorporate their concerns and suggestions in the proposal. However, concern was also expressed that delaying the project might lead to another rainy season without any relief from flooding. After the CNE receives the community suggestions, they must analyze them and send them to the SENARA so they can be included in the final proposal. This could take one to two more months.

“We’re going to take into account your concerns and incorporate them,” assured Ramon Araya Araya, CNE liason official for Guanacaste. He said they would coordinate with the new community emergency committee that was formed in a meeting just before the dike proposal presentation.

New Nosara Emergency Committee

The Nosara Emergency Committee includes teacher Zeidy Ugalde Rivera as coordinator, President of ASADA Christoph Martin Hubmann as subcoordinator, community member Zusy Avila Alvarado as secretary, from CCSS EBAIS Oldemar Garcia Fajardo as fiscal, ICE’s Maria Rosales Dinarte as first vocal and from the public force Jose Filiberto Mora Gomez as second vocal. The purpose of the committee is to collaborate and closely coordinate efforts with the municipal CNE.

Teams will be formed to specialize in specific aspects of emergency efforts, including temporary shelters, volunteerism, information management, evacuation and rescue, risk evaluation and needs analysis, warehouse and supply distribution, health, security, education and a liason for Pelada and Guiones beach area.


More Regional News

Samara Bridge Collapses under Trailer's Weight
Conavi started work on a provisional route

On Wednesday April 23th, machinery arrived to prepare for closing the bridge over Buena Vista river between Bar Las Vegas and the sawmill, the main route entering Samara from Nicoya. On Thursday morning, work began on a provisional route around the bridge by Vista Verde Restaurant. Thursday afternoon, around 12:30 p.m., the bridge collapsed as a trailer loaded with heavy stone was passing over it. More >

Samara Police Roughing It in the Community Hall
Police must wait at least two more weeks before repairs are finished

Renovations to the Samara Police facility, which began on February 10th, are expected to take at least two more weeks.  In the meantime, the police have been roughing it in the community hall and a small office lent by Hotel Giada. More > 

Survivor of Cinchona Earthquake urges Samara to be prepared
Local committee appointed to organize Samara for emergencies

“Never say never,” urged Silvia Mejia Zamora in tears during a community meeting in Samara on Wednesday, March 9th. She explained that she was one of those people who thought that a disaster like an earthquake would never really happen. She was just going about her normal business doing laundry. Her husband had gone to work and her children were playing when the 6.2 earthquake hit with an epicenter 4 kilometers southeast of Cinchona. Her cousin and his children died in the earthquake. “Losing a loved one hurts a lot and seeing your house, your town destroyed hurts a lot,” she said. More >

Tsunami Alert
Population on the coast should evacuate to higher altitudes

After an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan and 10 meter high waves hit the country, the National Emergency Commission announced a green alarm on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. As a tsunami might hit the coast around 4 p.m., coastal residents are advised to start evacuating to higher altitudes starting from 2 p.m. More >

Union of Forces Opened A Space For Student With Wheelchairs

Early on the morning of Wednesday, March 2nd, a group of students, parents and teachers at Samara Integrated Center for Youth and Adult Education (CINDEA de Samara) armed themselves with shovels. They were united by their enthusiasm to give a better quality life to one of the students in the program. Mas >

Bathers are unprotected by lack of lifeguards on beaches

“At 11:30 a.m. she came in, hugged everybody and said she wanted to go to the beach. At 1:30 p.m., she drowned". Just like that, with those words, Jim MacKenzie narrated Kattia María Umaña Chaverri's death, which took place on January 25th. The lack of warning signs on dangerous beach areas put the life of three teenagers at risk, killing their mother. More >

Presidential Visit
President Chinchilla Complains in Nicoya Over Lack of Money

At almost 12:00 p.m. and under a burning sun, a long line of people that almost reached the high table assembled, holding in their hands letters and envelopes of all sizes with petitions for the President. Irene Pacheco, the President's assistant, was in charge of receiving a total of 96 petitions. More >

Interview with John Perkins, author of best-seller
“Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”

“The people are taking back our power”

While the world’s attention may be on the democracy movement in Egypt, Latin America has also experienced a major move toward democracy in the wake of diminished power of the United States, according to bestselling author John Perkins. More >

Traffic Police Seeks to Reorganize Nicoya's City Limits
• Heavy vehicle drivers invade restricted zones

The road chaos that has prevailed for the past five years in the city of Nicoya upsets and concerns its residents, who demand a reorganization.

Missing, fallen or misplaced traffic signs, a blurry road demarcation, vehicles parked on restricted areas or taxi stops and vehicles driving the wrong way down the street are just some of the irregularities seen in Nicoya. More >

10 Myths About a Local Earthquake

Myth 1: A seismic fault is beneath the center of Nicoya.
Reality: Based on research performed up until now, there is NO seismic fault just below the center of Nicoya. However, there is a fault below Nicoya Peninsula which may affect this area. More >

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