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Panama Guide

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Friday, April 18 2014 @ 09:49 PM EDT

Weather, Wind and Rain

Panama gets a lot of rain. There's nothing like a full-blown Panamanian wet-season downpour, and sometimes the sheer volume of water produced can be astounding. The rainfall powers the Panama Canal, and huge ocean-going vessels are actually floating on the fresh rainwater from the Chagres River as they pass from Atlantic to Pacific through Gatun Lake. Localized flooding is common during the rainy season and sometimes dry season can extend and become drought. Local weather in Panama can be effected by the El Niño and La Niña phenomenons. In the rainy season you can usually expect bright and sunny mornings, temperatures in the mid 80's, light breezes and afternoon thundershowers. In the dry season it's the same thing, except without the rain. This section of Panama-Guide.com is a collection of everything related to the weather, weather related news and events, severe and noteworthy storms, radars, and weather related links. If you require additional information about this or any other category of information regarding the Republic of Panama please take advantage of our powerful in-house search engine. And if you still can't find what you're looking for try sending in a request for information. If you like what you see please consider recommending Panama-Guide.com to your friends. Our dedicated readers make us the #1 English Language Website about the Republic of Panama. Salud.
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ASEP Handing Out Fines To Those Who Refuse To Comply With Energy Saving Measures

WeatherFernando Vargas, a representative of the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP), said the organization is continuing with an operation designed to verify compliance with energy saving measures ordered by the central government, especially with regard to the schedule for turning off electric signs, billboards, and air conditioners. (more)

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Panama's Government Announces Mandatory Power Conservation Measures

WeatherBy Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com - This afternoon the government of Panama issued an order announcing mandatory energy saving measures. (more)

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Water Levels Falling To Critical Levels Behind Panama's Hydroelectric Generation Dams

WeatherYesterday the Fortuna hydroelectric dam was only 9.5 meters above the minimum water level necessary to operate, putting additional pressure on the country's generation network. (more)

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Tunnel In Rio Hato Flooded After Heavy Rain In The Area

WeatherThe tunnel on the Pan-American Highway, by Río Hato in Antón, Coclé, was affected after the heavy showers on Sunday, when a large amount of water flooded the inside of the structure.

Several drivers reported both lanes of the Pan-American Highway were completely flooded. Units from the Transit Authority (ATTT) arrived at the place to assist with the traffic flow.

This tunnel is completely new, because it was part of the adjustments necessary after the construction of the International Airport Scarlett Martínez in Río Hato. (Telemetro)

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MOP Executing A Plan To Prevent Flooding

WeatherThe Ministry of Public Works (MOP) said Tuesday, in order to support the families that were affected by recent flooding in the area of ​​Puente del Rey, Panama Viejo, in the district of Parque Lefevre, they have started a plan of action with the goal of minimizing the likelihood of flooding in this area.

In this context, it is important to point out that with the construction of the new route through Via Cincuentenario, a system of stormwater drainage was constructed, which has substantially reduced the risk of flooding in the area, although there are still some critical points very close to the banks of Rio Abajo.

Right now, the MOP is using machinery and equipment to clean and dredge the large amount of sediment and debris that has collected in the channel of Rio Abajo.

Dredging Rio Abajo in Panama City to prevent localized flooding.

The head of Public Works, Jaime Ford, has repeated his call for people to become aware, asking them to not fill the tributaries and drainage system with all sorts of waste and garbage, which increases the risk of flooding in the communities.

This work of cleaning out the channel will take approximately four days. As part of the relocation of the Via Cincuentenario, the MOP is building a retaining wall to stabilize the river bank in order to make the site more secure.

It is anticipated that construction of the protection wall will take about six weeks, and the institution is performing the studies and designs, which will be included in the ongoing MOP project which they call "Heritage Preservation." (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: October, November, and early December are typically the months which see the most rainfall in Panama. Historically speaking this is the time of year when you can expect to see heavy and concentrated rainfall with the capacity to overwhelm any stormwater drainage system. Expect localized flooding, and be alert for mudslides as well. You also might want to stock up on bottled drinking water. In recent years mudslides into Lake Alajeula have increased turbidity levels in the raw source water beyond the capacity of the Chilibre water treatment plant to remove. The end result was turbidity coming out of the water taps for weeks in Panama City. Get yourself a couple of those 5 gallon water bottles and use that for drinking, when necessary. It's simply better to be prepared than to have to scramble at the last minute. And when in doubt, drink more beer. That's my professional opinion...

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59 Houses Were Affected By The Rain

Weather59 houses were affected due to the constant rains in Panama and San Miguelito, according to the general director of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), Arturo Alvarado. This situation caused material loss to 333 people.

An official report states these floods were in Parque Lefevre (25), Panama Viejo (20), San Francisco (4), Chilibre (2) and Rio Abajo (1). Other houses were affected by landslides and related incidents in Samaria, El Valle de Urraca, La Cabima, Alcalde Diaz and Villa Campestre.

The chief of the Sinaproc said “we are in the rainiest season of the country.” In fact, the management of Hydrometeorology of ETESA said they are expecting rains for the next couple of hours.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Facing this situation, Alvarado recommended the citizens not to throw garbage on the streets. He also asked students to remain in their classrooms when it rains. And, if you are at home, your office or a shopping mall, people should not go out to the street until the situation gets better, said the official. (Prensa)

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SINAPROC Warns About Showers And Thunderstorms

WeatherThe director of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), Arturo Alvarado, published on Twitter satellite images showing showers from Panama East up to the city, together with thunderstorms.

He also reported gusts of wind in certain areas, so he recommended the citizens not to exercise in the open air.

At the moment, the Hydrometerological Department of ETESA reports reduced air pressure in Colon, causing moisture displacement over the Caribbean of Panama and generating scattered showers with electrical activity.

Weather reports from ETESA show the presence of scattered showers in the Caribbean in Changuinola and Bocas del Toro, as well as Colon and Guna Yala.

In the Pacific, in the provinces of Darien, Panama, Colon and Cocle, scattered showers are also expected, as well as over Veraguas and the highlands of Chiriqui. (Panama America)

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Part Of Chivo Chivo's Road Collapsed

WeatherHeavy rains from last night in the city caused landslides by the road connecting Chivo Chivo with Cerro Patacon and the Centennial Bridge.

This was reported by the director of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), Arturo Alvarado, through his Twitter account, who said the road was closed afterwards.

Residents in the area had to walk outside of the neighborhood to then take other mean of transportation to get to work.

One of the houses in the neighborhood was affected after a power pole fell on top of it. (Panama America)

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Sinaproc Reported Floods Caused By Clogged Sewers

WeatherThe National System of Civil Protection (Sinaproc) reported floods caused by clogged sewers in the areas of Parque Lefevre, Betania, Mateo Iturralde, Pacora and Río Abajo.

There were also floods in Puente del Rey caused by the overflowing of a river in the area.

So far, the staff of Sinaproc has not reported any citizens affected by the floods, which caused damages to houses and streets.

Preliminary reports from Sinaproc do not specify if these houses had serious damage caused by clogged sewers.

The Department of Hydrometeorology from the Electricity Transmission Company was reporting there was going to be bad weather in the afternoon since the morning.

By 2:30 p.m. the Sinaproc reported they were expecting three more hours of rain in different areas of Panama and Colon.

Local news posted pictures of flooded areas, such as La rocita and the main road of Betania. (Prensa)

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Landslide Swamped An Entire Family In Colon

WeatherA family was buried on Thursday morning, after being surprised by a landslide that swamped their entire house, located in Exodo, Colon.

Unfortunately, four of the five people who were in the house died, including a seven-year-old girl, who was going to turn eight tomorrow, and an elder woman.

The only survivor of this tragedy is a 20-year-old young woman who is currently recovering at the hospital.

Residents from the area started searching for the bodies together with members from the Sinaproc.

This incident was caused by heavy rains affecting the entire province of Colon. (Panama America)

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