Tomas Pounds Costa Rica, Worst Disaster in Decade

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Hurricane Tomas has left a swath of death and destruction in Costa Rica. The government said it's the worst natural disaster to hit there in more than a decade.

Heavy rains triggered a mudslide that swallowed up dozens of homes and killed at least 23 people in San Jose. The San Jose area received 6.3 inches of rain in just two hours Wednesday, according to Costa Rica's Meteorological Institute.

Costa Rica's President Laura Chinchilla declared Friday and Saturday as days of national mourning because of the tragedy.

The government declared the country in red alert, which is the highest level. Chinchilla said the government has 7 billion colones available for relief efforts.

Other areas were also hit hard by the rain.

The Costa Rican Evangelical Alliance is working with Christian media to mobilize a relief campaign. Pastors are broadcasting appeals on local radio stations to urge their people to help flood victims, and evangelical churches are serving as relief collection centers.

Many roads were flooded or blocked by landslides across Costa Rica, and schools nationwide were closed.

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