Puntarenas Toxic Spill Alert Downgraded to Yellow

The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Over the Labor Day weekend, a ship containing the toxic chemical, ammonia nitrate, sparked an emergency alert off the coast of the Costa Rica tourist town of Puntarenas when it sank in heavy seas. The alert was downgraded to “Yellow” on Sunday.

On Saturday, 180 tons of ammonium nitrate (ammonium nitrate used in fertilizers and explosives) went into the Nicoya Gulf. The government established an emergency zone along about 100 km (60 miles of coast) and had asked people to avoid swimming and fishing.

A spokesman later said only small traces had been found in the water.
Officials said the emergency alert had been considered preventive because of the potential impact ammonium nitrate could have on human health.

The chemical, which is highly soluble, had dissolved and been taken out to sea.
Government officials said an enquiry into the ship sinking and the spillage is underway.

Costa Rica has the largest number of foreign tourists in Central America, with a record 2.5 million foreign visitors in 2014. Costa Rica is one of the world’s leading destinations for nature and eco tourism for its stunning beaches, lush tropical forests and large nature reserves.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica