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Costa Rica Landslide Death Toll Rises To 23

Rescue and search workers recovered three more bodies of people who died in a Wednesday landslide in San Antonio de Escaz˙, raising the death toll to 23.

Authorities say that only one person is still missing and believed to be buried under the debris after a wave of mud and rocks Wednesday morning slammed into some 30 homes in the area known as Las Lajas, in Barrio del Carmen.

Some of the bodies were recovered wrapped in bed sheets as they were swept away by the mud while asleep.

The mudslide was the result of a constant rain for more than 24 hours, when minutes after midnight Wednesday and without warning, the Cerro Pico Planco came down over a path of more than one kilometre.

Across the country two more deaths were attributed to the heavy rains, bringing the total casualties to 25.

The Cruz Roja (Red Cross) and the Comisiˇn Nacional de Emergencias (CNE) - national emergency commission - reported more than 2.500 people had to take refuge in shelters.

The weather conditions changed on Saturday, the sun shining on the Central Valley for the first time in more than three days.

Help from Colombia, Guatemala and Panama poured in, especially the much needed air support that created an "air bridge" to get supplies and equipment to communities cut off by floods and torn up roads.

Nicaragua, currently in a spat with Costa Rica over the river San Juan that separates the two countries, offered help but none has been evident so far.

Floods and landslides have killed some 300 people across Central America in this year's especially damaging and wet rainy season, which stretches from May to November.




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