El Niño Will Torment Costa Rica's Central Valley Over the Next 3 Months

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The next three months could be critical for the people of La Cruz, Cañas, Liberia, some areas of the Central Valley, Parita Jaco, Quepos and Tárcoles, since a decrease of rainfall is forecast up to 60% in some of these areas.

    According to the National Meteorological Institute the North Pacific is where the most worrying scenario will be presented, since according to the meteorologist, Eladio Solano, during the month of July there will be a reduction of 60% of rains in this region, while in August it will be 50% and in September the red figure will be 40%.

    “Climatically it is very normal that this occurs in the months of July and August, but particularly this year’s El Niño phenomenon accentuates this problem which has to be considered since we are talking about a significant decrease in rainfall. Obviously it is critical for people who need water for their daily activities, especially for work, I find that they already have a major impact in terms of economic and socio-economically,”said Solano.

    The expert also explained that this could be related to two factors, the first is the heat wave period, which is the time of year when the heat is stronger and usually happens in these months, or because Costa Rica is under the influence of El Niño, which although is not officially reported by international agencies, however, the country began to feel the effects, such as an increas in the intensity of the trade winds that have been constant in the last days and the fact that this situation creates a very strong rainfall decrease in these three months.

    In the case of the Central Valley during this July there will be a 30% decrease in rainfall, while in August it will be 40%, but when the situation reaches its most critical point, the figure drops to 50%.

    And in the Central Pacific region, the scarcity of rain will be slightly lower in percentage terms, since in these weeks of July there will be a decrease of 20%, the other month will be 15%, while 5% in September .

    Actions to mitigate the consequences

    According to the Director of the National Energy Control Center of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, Salvador Lopez, above all it is a forecast, the company is working on a series of actions that are in process, but did not elaborate on what specific measures will be implemented.

    For his part, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, José Joaquín Salazar, stressed that at this time they are working on a plan that fits every need of the different regions of the country.

    “We are making a continuous review of information from the Meteorological Institute, El Niño is not just a lack of water, there are also regions where rainfall will increase, we will be giving technical advice on how to grow in the dry season, take preventive measures and in the MAG we are making a program to address the situation in each region having its own characteristic,” he explained

    On Wednesday the company also reported that the food industry will be supported to develop training plans to prevent and mitigate the impacts of El Niño.

    Also regional workshops are being conducted aimed at strengthening the capacity of the sector concerned as to access and use climate outlook reports, to improve responsiveness and minimize the impact of the phenomena.

    Among the recommendations that the experts make to farmers, are a planting plan according to soil conditions and water supply in each area of production, quality using improved seeds and planting in stages, as one should avoid sowing large areas at once.

    Note that due to this problem, the consequences could reach all corners of the country because expensive agricultural products, foods and even the production of electricity could also get out more expensive.

    The rains will be present in Limón

    The forecast made ​​by the National Meteorological Institute for the other regions causes an increase in rainfall.

    According to Solano, the precaution in the North Caribbean as Tortuguero, Limón center, Guápiles and Matina must be constant as this month a 20% increase in rainfall is forecasted, next August it will increase by 30% and in September the opposite is expected, since a decrease of up to 20% will probably occur.

    In the case of the Southern Caribbean, Cahuita and Puerto Viejo, the intensity of rainfall will be higher during July and will be 30%, while next month it will be 40% more, but the situation will change in September as rainfall will come down by 10%.

    While in the Northern Zone and La Fortuna, Aguas Zarcas and Cutris, increased rainfall will be only 10% in July, but in the next two months it will decrease by 5% and 15% in August and September. A very similar situation will occur in the South Pacific, as this month there will be a 15% drop in the amount of rainfall, down to 5% in August, but a slight increase of 5% in September.

    The National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Response (CNE) primarily makes an appeal to this population to remain vigilant and follow the recommendations of the authorities to the possibility that the rains continue for several days.

    The CNE keeps constant watch on watersheds that recurrently affect the region like the rivers Chirripo, Sarapiqui, Matina, Banana and Lemon Bananito at Tres Amigos, San Carlos and Cold River in the Northern Zone.

    Also the whole organizational structure remains active throughout the coordination of the Municipal Emergency Committees, which so far have treated minor incidents in Sarapiqui, Pococí, Limón Centro, Talamanca, Guatuso and Esparza.

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