Most residents of Costa Rica were already working when the earthquake hit the northwestern area of the country. Amazingly though, there was very little damage given the magnitude of the earthquake. This quake was a rolling one that was centered deep under the earth’s surface where one of the earth’s plates was sliding under another one. It was the kind of quake that leaves you feeling a little bit nauseated, like you have been out on a boat and got a bit seasick. The quake was felt as far away as Panama and Nicaragua. School was canceled in many areas of the country. A tsunami warning was issued and people along the coast were asked to evacuate the area.
During the quake panic hit many people near the epicenter. The quake lasted about 30 seconds or so which seems a lot longer. If you have been in an earthquake you know what I mean. I have been through more than I can count having lived most of my life in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California. In 1971 the Sylmar earthquake claimed 65 lives and cost about half a billion in damages with only a 6.6 magnitude. Then again in 1994 the San fernando Valley was rocked by a 6.7 magnitude earthquake that claimed 57 lives, injured 8,700 and caused an estimated 20 billion in damages.
With Costa Rica having Volcan Arenal, one of the most active volcanoes in the pacific rim and other active volcanos as well, one would expect to have some earthquake activity and there are small ones on a regular basis. This 7.6 earthquake was the largest in the country in more than 50 years. I personally like to see us having a lot of small earthquakes as it equates in my mind to pressure being released. Overall it could have been much worse given the magnitude. Here at Osa Mountain Village it was back to business us usual a few minutes after it was over. No damage was caused to any infrastructure, homes or land… a few trees fell in the forest, but that happens all the time. The Howler Monkey’s were a little louder than usual after the quake too. I can’t blame them for being a little out of sorts.