Exodus towards party in the interior
PANAMA. Carnivals in the provinces are becoming more popular every year, as people start to rate the capital festivities as a second be...
PANAMA. Carnivals in the provinces are becoming more popular every year, as people start to rate the capital festivities as a second best in comparison to the ones in Las Tablas, Chitre and Penonome.
This year the exodus towards the interior was even bigger and by Sunday lunchtime 84,000 vehicles had crossed La Chorrera highway on their way to the provinces.
It is estimated that more than a half million people will abandon the capital by bus in favor of small towns and beaches taking advantage of the four day carnival break.
It is expected that a similar number will go to the interior in private transport.
According to Hector Rodriguez, from the Executive Committee of the Albrook Bus Terminal, the amount of travelers will increase by 10 percent in comparison with last year.
In 2008, during the four days of carnival, 2,800 trips departed from the Albrook Terminal carrying a total of 480,000 passengers.
The provinces with more demand were Herrera, Los Santos, Cocle, Veraguas and Chiriqui. This year those routes will have extra buses to be able to cope with the demand. Over 900 extra people, including 164 private security guards and 181 police units will patrol the terminal to ensure the security of the travelers.
Altogether it is estimated that over 650,000 will leave the capital bringing much needed revenue to other parts of the country.
The rivers, especially those in the areas of Chepo and Pacora were not neglected by those seeking to enjoy the last part of the alleged dry season and around 30,000 people have traveled to those beauty spots over the last few days.
A spokesman for the Transport Authority ATTT José Hernandez said that 15,000 policemen are participating in the operations to keep the Pan American highway safe.
The ATTT has established roadblocks in different parts of the country such as Anton, Penonome, Veraguas, Azuero and Chiriqui.
Hernandez added that so far the operation has been a success and it is expected that the number of travelers towards the interior will start declining during Monday and Tuesday.
The Civil Protection Service said that in comparison with 2008, the 2009 capital carnival has not had any fatalities within the route in the first two days.
Another aspect that is noticeable is the number of tourists attending the carnivals across the country.
Meanwhile, the exodus has helped the traffic congestion created by the closure of Transistmica, which is the carnival route.
Between Friday and Saturday the traffic came to a standstill at the Ricardo J. Alfaro avenue as desperate drivers were trying to get to Via España and Via Brazil, while in Bethania the peaceful neighborhood was disrupted by the sounds of the “diablos rojos” anxious to get to the city center.
So far there have not been any major incidents in Bethania, but residents have complained about the noise caused by orchestras playing until the early hours.