Costa Rica had a huge earthquake yesterday (Thursday, January 8th, 2009), 6.2 on the richter scale (I’ve seen reports that say 6.1). Just north of the San Jose area. This is the biggest one that I’ve heard of in Central Valley. The Tico Times has a lot of the earthquake coverage (you do have to do some clicking and scrolling, they’re mostly a subscription service).
They’re reporting about 23 dead with 11 still missing (at least that’s how I’m piecing everything together, I’ve seen numbers all over the place; as high as 30 dead). Lots of damage, mud slides and people trapped in various areas. 1,000+ people relocated and another 1,000+ stranded. If you check out the news stories from around the world there are definitely conflicting reports (especially on the death toll). Lots more earthquake details here and if you’ve got Google Earth installed there are some additional visual details if you click on the spot of the earthquake.
I can’t imagine the chaos and devastation that something like this causes. My thoughts an prayers go out to everyone affected by this…
I’ve been having a hard time getting my head around some of the damage, I found some photos at Inside Costa Rica and a video clip (in Spanish).
You can see many of the areas that felt it on this map, people can actually report it and that’s what feeds the map (don’t know how long they keep these on-line).
How many people are affected by this that I’ve met on my various trips down there? Places that I’ve visited or stayed at the I don’t recognize the names. I wonder how much it freaks out the tourists, imagine if they didn’t speak the language. I don’t speak Spanish well enough, in a crisis, without my translation book, I don’t know what I’d do…
There was a slightly bigger one (6.5 richter scale) in November when I was there, but I didn’t feel it and I don’t remember this much death and damage, but it was way at the south end of the country (I think it might have been in Panama) and if it was a few of my more isolated days I wouldn’t have gotten much news. My biggest earthquake ever was also in Costa Rica (4.3 richter scale) but most people didn’t even notice it (it was just after midnight).
A slightly erratic post but these thoughts have been in my head and wanted to share them…
I’ll add more links below:
Pictures from the Tico Times newspaper (more landscapes and buildings are towards the end).
Photos from al Dia from La Cinchona de Sarapiquí, Heredia
La Paz waterfalls had to close down. I believe some people took shelter there when the roads got cut off (I might be mixing the location up).
FYI, I’ve been updating the details in this posting daily, it was originally from January 9, 2009 but some of the details might be from up to a week later.