Earthquakes don't get names like hurricanes do. I suppose one reason is because there aren't enough of them, thank goodness. They just get their location and year: we just had the Costa Rica 2009 one. At least we're all hoping that was it. If we get another, we'll have to call this the Costa Rica January 2009 one. I'll keep you posted.
This was a 6.1 which is a pretty big earthquake. If the epicenter had been in San José, buildings would have fallen. For an idea, here's a video of two earthquakes [FIXED!]:
- The Loma Prieta earthquake, San Francisco
17 October 1989, 5:04pm, 15 seconds, 6.9
63 people dead – 3,757 injured – 8,000-12,000 homeless
Caused by a slip along the San Andreas Fault
- Jiji earthquake, Chichi, Nantou, Taiwan
21 September 1999, 1:47pm, 7.3
2,416 deaths (including missing) – 11,443 wounded
44,338 houses destroyed – 41,336 houses severely damaged
Occurred along the Chelongpu Fault in the western part of the island of Taiwan
Ours didn't feel that big when I was sitting down the mountain at lunch with my brew-has [BRU-jas]. Usually the quakes are so brief, they are over before you realize what is happening. This one started and we all just sat there. Then it just kept going and going… by the time we finally got up to go outside, it was over. By that time, we were officially scared.
I called the boys right away. A window broke and stuff fell off the shelves, but they were fine. Freaked out, but fine. It feels worse up on the mountain: you're basically sitting on a pile of rocks. When one moves, they all move…
The area around the epicenter is devastated. There are plenty more than four people dead. At least one town pretty much disappeared, roads are gone, dropped down a mountainside. I wanted to do an update yesterday but the information was so wildly confused and contradictory, I couldn't make sense of it. This morning, A.M. Costa Rica has a pretty comprehensive update. CNN has a news article, too. Where there is conflicting information, I'd go with A.M. Costa Rica simply because they are here speaking local Spanish.
I'm still feeling shakes and jolts. It's 8:30am here, I've been typing for about an hour and felt several this morning. Different from yesterday's. Yesterday they were short and sharp, like a hammer hitting a rock. Today they are shakes, like someone holding the rock and giving it a push-pull-push. Deep in the earth and far far away. All equally unnerving.
Someone reported that the types of tremors we are having – harmonic tremors – are eruption precursors. I googled that but vulcanologists and seismologists use big multi-syllable words like endocrinologists do. They might even be the same words. The topic is completely incomprehensible to me. Knowing eruption precursors exist and that someone suggested we are having them is terrifying.
Odd. After this experience, I assumed that the words terror and terremoto were related. Not even close.
I've learned a lot about volcanos and earthquakes and Poás, in particular, the past couple of days. Poás is active and prone to eruptions. It's a stratovolcano like Mount Vesuvius and Mount St. Helens… lucky us. Stratos tend to hold in their emotions, then erupt in a big way. Without warning. Kind of like me pre-progesterone.
Relief efforts are underway, the local Cruz Roja [cruise ROW-ha, Red Cross] is coordinating the work. Expats are driving over to their local office, giving money, bottled
water, personal items (diapers and the like are critical needs). If you'd like to donate, I don't know what to suggest other than to give to your local Red Cross and hope it trickles down to Costa Rica. I've tried to find an online place to donate but so far no luck. If I find one, I'll post it here. We need an expat online Red Cross PayPal account for emergencies. I'm plotting…
I was sure it was stronger than Limon (which reached 7.1 http://nisee.berkeley.edu/costarica/
this one was strong but not really in the Richter scale (that scale measures energy released…..of course if the energy is released close to the surface, as it was in 2009 earthquake it ‘feels’ really strong)
also interesting to remember that the Richter is a logarithmic scale, so a 6.1 is 10 times stronger than a 6 which is 10 times stronger than a 5.9 etc)
“remember that the Richter is a logarithmic scale”? You’ll have to explain logarithmic. So… you understand vulcan-speak?
I noticed a new “donations” button on my online bank account at BCR (Banco de Costa Rica this morning making it easy to contribute to the earthquake victims.
Thank you Janet!
Hola…Saratica sounds like you and yours had minimal damage to your home and no injuries. I’m glad for you. I’ve been thru a few and there sure not my cup of tea. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.
Thanks for the update – I was having trouble finding info about what had actually happened (from here in Pennsylvania).
It’s hard to keep up, the news has been coming out in bits and pieces, although lately it seems to be more focused and consistent.
a logarithmic scale is used to represent quantities that are both small and large in a graph
look at that graph, the red line is an exponential function (10^x) , if you apply the logarithm function to that you get a gren line and if you apply the log function again then you get the blue line
in plainspeak, the amounts involved in an earthquake can be so huge that it would be a pain to say “earthquake was 15000000 magnitude” and the aftershock was 200000 magnitude”
sound levels (Decibels) and pH (acidity) are also log scales
Live long and pros……..crap! I just broke my fingers trying to do the damn thing with the hand 😉
ps…..at the rate we are going they better start using a log scale for the US internal debt LOL
I told Hal about using a log scale for the debt… he thought that was pretty funny. And probably going to be necessary…
I’m changing my mind about earthquakes vs. hurricanes. Hurricanes are beginning to seem tame in comparison. Especially when you consider the volcanic reactions.
For me, ignorance is bliss but I do thank you for enlightening me! Teri
At least with canes, you have time to pack a bag…
as per la nacion…..4 more tremors (and a small eruption ) felt today
Thank goodness I didn’t know about the eruption till hours later or I probably would have driven to Panama. This whole thing had me totally freaked out… now I know how people felt in Key West when a hurricane was coming. They were all freaked out and we were like, yawn. I’m starting to relax now, a week later. And by now (Wed night) there have been 6 more smaller quakes over at a new fault…. great!
Teri, earthquakes and volcanoes at least are localized and unlike hurricanes, volcanoes will not follow you around the countryside. (Thank heavens!)
Not that any of this matters when we are being directly threatened by one of these catastrophes. But if we survive these various ordeals, it seems like it’s Mother Nature’s way of keeping us on our toes.
couldn’t she just drop a note from the sky?
Hola, I am not sure the title of the blog issue was correct about CNN. I was emailed by AMCOSTARICA ASAP and I saw it on several news programs within 20 minutes…
That to me is the BAD news……. This earthquake was really a small issue and sandly a hanfull of people lost there lives ,but,it was in a known eathquake area and the result of the worldwide coverage is going to severly hurt Costa Rica’s tourism numbers this year big time.
I was called by a dozen people back home hoping I survived ! The world thinks Costa Rica was devaststed. Not that a tiny tiny tiny area was involved.
I wish they never covered the quake…… For the good of ALL Ticos an Ticas…..
You got it totally wrong !! Sampson V. Golfito
Sorry, Sampson, I have no sympathy. Been there, done that. Hurricanes hurt our real estate and tourism businesses every time. Here’s the bad thing about days and days of warning: days and days of bad press. They just went on and on and on… plus a good news story has lots of terror involved to make it really juicy. They played up the danger and destruction, it got ridiculous.
Fortunately, people have short memories. In the keys, we had so many hurricanes in a short two or three year period that the news really did some damage. But now we haven’t had any killer canes in awhile and people forget.
If you are in the real estate business here, you have other things to worry about. It ain’t the quakes hurting your business. I’d advise a back-up plan.
You can make an online donation to the Cruz Roja at https://www.ticobingo.co.cr/donaciones.php?dol=1
As Saratica noted, people in refugee camps still need basic supplies. Please donat what you can– a dollar goes a long way down here.
Thank you Susan. I’m going to put that on the blog higher up!