SINAPROC - Still Early for Tourism to Bocas del Toro After Floods

Friday, December 05 2008 @ 03:57 PM EST

Contributed by: Don Winner

By DON WINNER for - According to Jaime Quijada, a spokesman for Panama's National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC), the road from David to Almirante is open to the public during the hours of 6:00 am until 4:00 pm, but it's still a very dangerous trip and only small vehicles are allowed to pass. "As a matter of fact we were just conducting soil stability studies along the route to identify areas vulnerable to potential new mudslides," he said. "The road is still very, very dangerous and right now large trucks cannot use the road." He said the goal is to continue to "normalize" all aspects of life in the province of Bocas del Toro, and that while they are making progress a lot remains to be done. I asked him specifically about the hotels and restaurants on the islands in Bocas del Toro who are hungry for tourists at the start of the peak season - "Can we safely begin to invite tourists to visit the islands of Bocas del Toro?" He said it would be prudent to "wait a few more days" for the situation to continue to stabilize and for logistical lifelines to continue to improve. "For example in Boquete they are going to have their festival, but Chiriqui was not hit as hard as Bocas in terms of widespread flooding and damage," said Quijada. "With every passing day, more water is draining or evaporating, the soil is drying out and becoming more stable, disaster relief is being delivered, and the province of Bocas del Toro continues to recover from one of Panama's worst ever natural disasters; but, it's still a little early for tourists," he said.

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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