Right off the bat, I prefer hurricanes. You get ample warning, at least a week. You won't know whether or not the 'cane is going to land on your house until the last 8 or so hours, but that's way better than no warning at all. Which is what we got today.
At 1:20pm, a big badass earthquake shook the central valley. According to the OVSICORI, the tremor had a magnitude of 6.2 and a depth of 30km with its epicenter 10km east of San Pedro de Poás,
Alajuela, near the Volcán Poás. Um, that's a mere twenty five miles from my house. Click on the picture to view it larger.
There have been over 1000 aftershocks since, intensities ranging from 2 to 4 on the Richtor scale. I'm pretty sure I felt all of them.
Yikes. 10pm: just had another one. I'm jumpy, to say the least. We are sleeping in our clothes tonight. I have a flashlight and a bag packed by the garage door with shoes and my purse in case we have to run outside in the middle of the night. I can't decide if I should pack the sex toys in the bag and carry them out, or leave them inside. Would it be better for someone to find them in the rubble of the house or to find them actually on my dead body when they dig me out from the center of the earth? I'm so nervous I'm having a hard time making decisions.
Today's terramoto [tear-ah-MOW-toe, say it rolling the rrs, eathquake] came so completely out of the blue that several volcanologists along with students from England and their teachers were inside Volcán Poás doing a study when the thing hit. They got out alive. They also reported that the inside of the volcano did not change – that's a good thing.
Tragically, four people have died. By
some miracle, only four.
This video shows some shots of the shakin' goin' on – this is from Teletica Canal 7, they were filming when it hit. You can see how long it lasted. May not seem long to you but when you are riding it, it seems like forever. Good chance to practice your Spanish:
Here are tidbits from news and online forums:
- La Nacion is updating online. Good pictures, more good practice.
- "A strong earthquake shook Costa Rica on Thursday, sending frightened residents running into the streets of the capital as windows shattered and walls cracked. Thousands of people ran from homes and shopping centers, frightened by the quake. In the capital, women kneeled to pray in plazas. Others cried."
- Local TV station Teletica showed broken windows, fallen ceiling panels and cracked walls in Alajuela.
- Much damage is located in the area of Fraijanes, the village on the
road from Alajuela to Volcán Poás.
- Major long term destruction was
caused on the road between Heredia and Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui,
specifically between Los Cartagos, before Vara Blanca, and San
- Several people who were driving on the road near Poás are trapped in
their cars, including a bus load of people who are near San Miguel of
Sarapiqui. They cannot continue driving on the road. They will spend the night there…
- Many visitors to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens are trapped there due to the
exit roads being blocked to the south (Heredia) and erased to the north (Sarapiqui). Starting Friday morning, 9 Jan, helicopters
will start airlifting foreign visitors, many of whom missed
flights home, towards Central Valley emergency posts.
- Damage to
the Heredia/Sarapiqui road is of such proportions that passage in a
near future will be impossible, do to whole sections having virtually
disappeared. There will probably not be any passage for years to come.
The Angel factory (they make jams) near Cariblanco has been reduced to
sitting on an isle without access from any direction.
- Access from the Central Valley to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens could be possible when obstructions have been cleared.
- The Dam at Cariblanco has fissures but is considered safe at this time.
- There have been landslides into the Rio Sarapiqui.
- Two microbuses have overturned near the Catarata [cah-tah-RAH-tah, waterfall] de La Paz (La Paz Waterfall Gardens); they are not reporting serious injuries.
- The hotel Jardines de La Cataratas de Poás is reported damaged.
- La Paz Waterfall Gardens has over 100 tourists trapped there. They are probably more nervous than me.
- The photos of the waterfall show only MUD flowing over the falls.
- Several tourists have been injured, but they are saying none seriously. They have been evacuated to San Jose.
- Several homes and roads are reported fallen and blocked in Vara Blanca.
- Poas of Alajuela, San Isidro of Heredia, San José, Vara Blanca and Fraijanes are the towns most affected.
- Route 126 to Sarapiqui is closed.
- Route 146 to Poas has significant damage.
- Five bridges are destroyed in Sarapiqui and Bajo de Toro.
- A bridge over the Rio Cuarto collaped.
- The bridge at El Angel is gone; the river wiped it out.
- There are some people trapped in Hotel Monte Azul in Alajuela.
- Much damage in some buildings in Heredia and Alajuela; houses in Cartago have also collapsed.
- There was a 4.0 earthquake last Wednesday, January 7, in the same area.
- Another strong earthquake felt yesterday in El Salvador.
- The reports right now are that this earthquake was caused by a fault, not the Volcán Poás. Since experts liken Poás to Mount Vesuvius, this is excellent news.
- They are saying it had an intensity of 6.2 but at the epicenter the damages were as if it was 8. That's like "wind chill factor" in earthquake-speak.
- Red alert declared by the National Emergency Commission
- Costa Rica usually has earthquakes during Christmas and Easter week, but because of the absence of high rises, most of the time there are minimum damages. So don't worry: if my single story house disappears into the fault, damages will be minimum.
- Two Blocks of Avenida Central reserved for pedestrians are closed because of fallen glass and open buildings.
As of now, the National Emergency Commisión is recommending people stock up on water and canned food as well as batteries and flashlight as a preventive measure. They don't mention what to do with your sex toys. I guess if nothing bad happens, I'll have plenty of batteries. Trying to look on the bright side.
So. There hasn't been an aftershock jolt in over an hour. Does that mean anything? I have such an active imagination, I keep thinking I feel things still moving. Like I'm in touch with the center of the earth. Like vertigo on the ground floor. I suppose I should stop worrying about it. Since there's no warning, the number and frequency of aftershocks doesn't mean a darn thing, right? Yeah. Hurricanes are definitely my disaster of choice.
Ouch! Glad you all are okay. Btdt (Cali native) not fun. In a few days you shouldn’t be getting any more aftershocks. Just be happy that 6.2 wasn’t a pre-shock!
Really tho’, glad you guys are okay. Stay away from windows, if it rocks again doorways are your friends. Take care and be safe!
And the sex toys? Keep them with you – it’ll take your mind off the earthquakes. 🙂
LOL – I never thought of that… I’ll bet you’re good in a crisis.
Of course, I immediately thought of a certain ex-pat and her family when I heard the report of the quake yesterday. Glad to hear you and yours are unscathed (at least physically)
There was an earthquake in southern California this morning; around 4.4 I hear from the blathering news people. I think your aftershocks have moved northward…hope they leave you alone soon. The TV attitude here, of course, News: Southern CA quake and oh, by the way, there was one in South America yesterday too. Hurricanes are far ‘better’ than idiots on local news as well as earthquakes. Come on up – you can enjoy the 8 inches of snow today.
We are good, my eyes popped open around 4am to just a slight vibration, like a deep hum, but that was the last I felt. We’ll see how today goes! So far so good.
Our fault, the one that runs right under my house I think, is a continuation of the San Andreas. We call it something else but it’s on the same line. Comforting.
Snow…? I’m going to have to google that, gosh, sounds so familiar.
I couldnt believe it was just a 6.2, I was sure it was 7 or so (not like I am a walking ‘earthquake measuring machine’ but compared to the one in 91 it was pretty bad where I was), it was very superficial which explains why it was felt so strong despite not having so much energy released (which is what the Richter scale measures)
I don’t get scared with earthquakes and I do get a kick of other people in total panic (dead people and collapsed houses/roads are no fun though, this one we won’t know how bad it is till the morning)
NOW tornadoes! that is a whole different deal, you guys have those ALL the time…..you get warning yeah……big deal……houses totally destroyed every single year, now THAT is scary to me 🙁
(that is why the house we bought was brick, I insisted on it LOL)
Yeah, tornadoes would have to be my least favorite. Did you see the movie Twister? Great movie!
I realized after I wrote the post that I sound like all the newbie hurricaners in Key West. ‘Canes are so ho hum to me now but most people still go crazy over a little wind. Particularly the blathering news people…
“There hasn’t been an aftershock jolt in over an hour. Does that mean anything?”
there were a bunch of course, they are just not detected by everyone or so little that only the seismograph detects them
apparently the fault line that got activated yesterday was also responsible of an earthquake in 1888 so PERHAPS its done releasing its energy for a while
(of course we have gazillion more fault lines everywhere plus volcanoes plus tectonic plates so…)
Thanks. I feel so comforted now.
Glad you have a sense of humor about the whole thing thats good! As far as the sex toys time to invest in some windups at this point I think. Lived in Grecia for two months and left on the 15th of Dec for the ‘vacation’ of three days out. Was planning on coming back on the 12th of Jan.
Can’t get this song out of my head now
windups? how old are you…
Thanks for the writeup and keep your spirits up!
I had this thought on Thursday that I DID live in earthquake country and I have way too many glass pieces sitting on ledges and edges around my house. I don’t know what possessed me but I put all those “tipsy” pieces of glass in a safer location. I go barefoot ALL THE TIME and it hit me, what if we did have an earthquake, at night, no lights and me walking through glass barefoot. Bad combo. The glassware on my frig barely rattled when we (Hermosa/Jaoc) got some little tremors from your area. I’m like you, I understand hurricanes, I know what to do before it hits. I am a fish out of water living here with earthquakes but I think I can handle an earthquake better than a “Donna”, “Andrew”, etc. Loved the bit about what to do with sex toys…. you watched Oprah on Friday?
I’m linking to you on this one. Thanks, Teri
I didn’t see Oprah… what was the topic? I’ve heard she’s been really interesting lately – like the priest who said Being gay was a gift from God. That’s pretty enlightened!
Monday – Your Best Self Intro
Tuesday – Health and Wellness
Wednesday – Spirituality
Thursday – Money
Friday – SEX
All next week at night there is a webcast on http://www.oprah.com to discuss these topics (unsensored). Sign up!
Glad you are o.k. and all the glass in your house didn’t break. Teri
Still feeling tremors… creepy. We did lose some glass, fortunately we weren’t standing under it!!! And the landlord replaced it right away – she’s good.
I’m all signed up for Oprah. I’ll be all new next week!
Thanks for the info…CRAZY! We felt it pretty good in Jaco.
So sad to hear of all the people suffering.
What’s funny is that you criticize the US in the FDA article and then want people to donate to the Red Cross and “hope” it gets there.
There are plenty of local aid charities there that will help. If you need they can be provided to you.
I don’t love everything abt the US, but don’t be so quick to judge a country for it’s bad, but then beg for it’s good. You are an American, please don’t forget that or just don’t claim you are from here.
The government isn’t perfect, but you know neither are you!
I was neither for McCain or Obama, so you can’t claim I’m one side or another….
I love Costa Rica and have spent quite a bit of time there. I love Poas, the waterfalls of La paz, the incredible beauty of every corner of the country…most importantly I have felt closer to myself every minute I have spent there.
My goal (and I will put my money and strength where my mouth is) is to bring that area back! The community and the world needs places that they can feel at peace!
Please focus on bringing it back and not criticising. the people of Costa Rica need whatever help they can get from the States.
The CEO/CFOs of the financial institutions sure as hell don’t need it. Let’s try and get the media to focus on what people in our world need.
I believe I’ve criticized the good ole USA in many many articles. Keep reading. My suggestion about the Red Cross was for peeps not in Costa Rica. It’s still quite difficult for people outside the country to donate to local charities. The “media” will never focus on what people in our world really need because it doesn’t sell advertising. Peace.
Glad you’re all safe and sound – just catching up on my reading – we didn’t even hear about the quake here!
You’ve been too busy cooking great food and traveling the world. Or at least other cities… It’s all good!
The plate tectonic NOT makes the earthquakes.
The moon makes the earthquakes as raising the earth crust.
See more than 800 world earthquake predictions who happened.
There will be an strong earthquake in Costa Rica on the 28th of March 2009.
Where, Boyko? Where should I be?