At least three people were killed, and 25 needed medical assistance due to a landslide caused by heavy rains in the area of Cambronero, in western Costa Rica, reported the Red Cross.
Nearly 100 rescuers were deployed to the scene, arriving from various regions of the country, as well as search and rescue units and a canine unit.
According to the digital newspaper crhoy.com, a double-decker bus carrying more than 60 people and at least two other vehicles were swept down an embankment into a 60 to 75-meter cliff.
Un autobús con al menos 70 personas a bordo es arrastrado a un barranco por un deslizamiento de tierra en Cambronero, Costa Rica. Al menos una persona murió y hay decenas atrapadas
— adn40 (@adn40) September 17, 2022
The incident occurred on the afternoon of Sept. 17, amidst heavy rains that hit most of the country.
The National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Attention (CNE) declared an orange alert throughout the national territory, except for the Caribbean, due to the presence of heavy downpours and high soil saturation, due to the accumulated effect of several days of rainfall.
While visiting one of the affected areas, the President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, requested “immediate measures to safeguard the lives of all the affected people and to look for solutions as soon as possible for the citizens affected by this emergency”, according to the Presidential House.
“It is necessary to evacuate. Send everything there is to evacuate the people,” Chaves urged after learning about the situation.
The Presidency conveyed its condolences to relatives and friends of those killed in the Cambronero landslide and expressed its full support to the injured.
President Chaves tweeted that he is postponing his departure to New York, where he travels to participate in the UN General Assembly.
“Tomorrow [Sept.18] I will follow up on the emergency caused by the rains in the last hours. If necessary, I will make more visits to the victims,” he said.