73% of Sarapiquí's Territory is Potentially Flood-Prone - Expat Community

73% of Sarapiquí’s Territory is Potentially Flood-Prone

Nov 24, 2023 | Costa Rica, News & Articles | 0 comments

  • 10,000 people could be affected
  • New tool identifies flood-prone areas

 

73.3% of the territory of the canton of Sarapiquí is within potentially flood-prone zones, according to a new tool developed by researchers from the State of the Nation 2023.

 

The research group created an innovative tool that identified areas and buildings with greater exposure to floods for the period 1986-2017.

 

“The tool created classifies the areas into three levels of exposure: low, medium, and high. An example of the application of the maps was made for Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, whose total surface covers 66 hectares.

 

In this case, the tool shows that 73.3% of this territory is within potentially flood-prone areas,” details the report.

 

With this data, the report’s researcher, Karen Chacón, explained that almost 10,000 people could be affected due to the exposure of various areas to potential floods.

 

Likewise, the researchers pointed out that, with maps identifying risk areas, local governments could make more informed decisions regarding building permits.

 

“They can accurately assess which areas are at the highest risk of flooding to prevent disasters related to these types of events,” the document reads.

 

The research team also assessed the cost of replacing all buildings in high flood exposure areas during the analyzed period.

 

The figure amounts to ₡334.079 billion, representing almost 75.9% of the investment in the construction of public infrastructure in 2021.

 

Natural disasters between 1970 and 2022

“Floods represent a significant risk in Costa Rica; 49% of disasters generated by natural events between 1970 and 2022 were floods. The most affected cantons are located in flat areas and coastal areas,” emphasized the State of the Nation 2023.

 

Given the number of natural disasters in the country, one way to address and prevent floods is through the Cantonal Regulatory Plans (PRC).

 

Also, according to the document, the application of the PRC would help local governments make decisions to improve city development and prevent risks associated with climatic events.

 

“The application of the PRC could also help mitigate pollution from sewage by properly parameterizing lots for septic tanks to function and requiring treatment plants and sanitary sewers in new urbanizations,” the report emphasizes.

 

CRHOY – https://www.crhoy.com/nacionales/73-del-territorio-de-sarapiqui-es-zona-potencialmente-inundable/

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