15:52, November 29, 2008
The flooding caused by heavy rains during the past days has left at least 46,000 people homeless and caused at least 22 million U.S. dollars in losses in Costa Rica, the National Commission of Emergencies (CNE) said Friday.
CNE President Daniel Gallardo told reporters that highways, roads and crops suffered damage, and economic loss is expected to rise as houses and aqueducts need to be repaired and water wells cleaned.
The CNE said that among the homeless, nearly 6,000 people remained at shelters till Thursday, and 35 towns isolated by water could only be accessed by air.
Landslides blocked the road linking San Jose and Limon. The Limon port, 150 km east of San Jose, is the main departure point of exports.
Because of the disaster, the authorities have decided to put off the National Sports Games Limon 2009 to June.
The Costa Rican government is considering a declaration of "national emergency" to channel 2 billion colons (4 million U.S. dollars) to the most affected areas.