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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Heavy rains have caused a landslide in Escazu, a suburb west of Costa Rica's capital of San Jose, killing at least 20 people. A dozen more are still missing.
Local media reported that young children are among the victims.
The rains, some of the heaviest on record, also flooded villages on the Pacific coast. The central Pacific region saw more rain in the past three days than normally falls in the month of November, according Vernerd Stolz of the National Meteorology Institute.
Nearly 1,400 people fled the floods and damaged homes to stay in temporary shelters.
Disaster officials issued a red alert, the highest of three emergency warning levels, for the Central Valley (where San Jose lies) and most of the Pacific zone.
President Laura Chinchilla said this is the country's worst disaster since the January 2009 Cinchona earthquake, which killed as many as 30 people and leveled entire village.
She declared a national emergency and said Nov. 5 and 6 will be days of national mourning.