6.2 earthquake near San Jose, Costa Rica

Old Jan 8th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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6.2 earthquake near San Jose, Costa Rica

Hope all residents and visitors are okay. Very little info out right now. That's a very good sized one.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Not much information thus far, but it seems to have hit north-west of San Jose, close to the Poas Volcano national park.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 01:25 PM
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My friend just wrote from San Jose, said some buildings are damaged with shattered windows, cracked walls/ceilings. Aftershocks are still being felt, a few roads closed due to landslides outside of the city.

He said some governmental buildings were being evacuated.

BBC reported it was the strongest quake in 30 years.

Epicenter was up near Poas Volcano.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Yikes! We are leaving for Costa Rica next Wednesday and are staying at Poas Volcano Lodge that evening. I hope everything is okay there. More importantly, though, I hope the people are all okay, as tully said.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 01:35 PM
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My friend said there had been no reported injuries and it was felt across the country.

We will be at Poas, too - glad I wasn't there today and hope the damage is minimal everywhere that has been affected.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Country jolted by major quake

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

(Posted at 2:05 p.m. and updated at 3:55 p.m.)

A 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit north of the Central Valley this afternoon at 1:21 p.m. and set streets and buildings in motion. There were injuries, and in the late afternoon a child and a man were reported to have died in the community of Vara Blanca not far from the quake epicenter.

The quake endured for at least 20 seconds and was followed by a number of aftershocks, some of which were felt. The shocks continued past 3 p.m. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was 35 kilometers (22 miles) northwest of San José. the exact estimated coordinates were 10.22 degrees north and 84.28 degrees west, said the survey. The event was estimated to be 28 kilometers (about 17 miles) deep.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica said the quake happened about 6 kilometers east of Volcán Poás, about four miles, but experts dismissed the idea that the event had any relation to volcanic activity.

The Cruz Roja in Alajuela said there was at least one death and injuries in that province and that some buildings had suffered damage. The epicenter appeared to be in east central part of the province north of the city of the same name. The child died in Poás de Alajuela, according to the Cruz Roja. The cause was a quake-provoked landslide, they said.

There were no details on the reported death of a man, although that is believed to have happened in the same general area.

The quake followed a 4.6 mid-morning quake off the coast of Nicaragua and one Wednesday near the Poás volcano, not far from today's quake.

The afternoon quake was felt all over Costa Rica. The Arenal automatic earthquake showed that the quake lasted an incredible six minutes there. Many other automatic stations were off line when the quake hit.

Both major television stations interrupted regular programming with bulletins, but information was a long time in coming. Stations had internal monitor

This is the seismographic display from the automatic monitoring station near Volcán Arenal. The initial quake is in red, and the other, smaller marks are aftershocks.

footage of the quake rattling their facilities. The quake hit in the middle of afternoon news shows.

A reporter said that a street in northeast San José visibly cupped and rocked back and forth for the duration of the quake. Elsewhere, occupants poured out of office buildings. There were some reports of falling objects and cracks in buildings, but Fuerza Pública officers said they had had no calls in the San José area. The national emergency commission declared a red alert in the four central provinces of San José, Heredia, Alajeula and Cartago.

Many workers declined to reenter their workplaces for fear of more damage from aftershocks. An attitude of carnival developed in some areas. Several structures, including Hospital México in San José and Centro Colón in the downtown are believed to have suffered damage to the upper floors.

A crack appeared in the exterior walls of an office building downtown occupied by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

A Desamparados resident south of San José said the floor of her home cracked and that the concrete sink used for washing clothes in a neighbor's home collapsed.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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I just talked to a friend in San Jose on MSN. Its a big deal. Lots of aftershocks. Roads blocked etc.

For those of you interested and speak Spanish - time into to one of the Costa rica radio stations. I am listening to Radio Monumental
http://www.monumental.co.cr/

I think the radio said that 2 little girls were killed.

raquel
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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One thing that the commentator mentioned was that a lot of tourists were stranded at Vara Blanca. (roads blocked etc0 And sort of the spooky thing is that I had just read shillmac's post about Vara Blanca and the French restaurant and the commentator when talking about Vara Blanca specifically mentioned her French friends who had a restaurant in the area.

raquel
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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Sounds like as more news comes in, damage is much more severe northwest of San Jose than what was originally thought.

Rodolfo said the phone and internet systems collapsed for an hour but both were back up fairly quickly. When he wrote me an hour after it hit, they were still experiencing aftershocks in San Jose.

Both international airports were closed for about 20 minutes for an evaluation of the runways but are now working normally.

My heart goes out to those who have been affected.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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The just talked to someone who works at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Hotel (I guess its the Peace Lodge). She says about 400 people are stranded there - no roads no electricity. etc. They are talking about trying to get helecopters to evacuate the people from there.
raquel
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 02:59 PM
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Sorry
I mean they -the radio station that is - talked to someone at La Paz.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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I hate to hear that; I can't imagine how scary that must have been. We were just there a few months ago.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 03:48 PM
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Wow--this is incredible. Our friends are due to leave for CR (Peace Lodge first stop) early next week.

I can't even imagine what it must be like there. My heart goes out to everyone, residents and tourists alike.

You know, in looking at the possibility of building a home there, we discussed with the builder last week all the earthquake proof building techniques and materials that would be used. It all seemed so matter-of-fact at the time; now it seems so troubling.

I think the last really big one was 1991 in Limon province.

When coming home from work today, a car ran a red light on a highway I was crossing. I hadn't looked back that direction as I usually do. But I sensed something and braked--it whizzed by just inches from me going about 60mph. I would have been broadsided on my side. I don't know why I felt compelled to tell that story--life is just so unpredictable.

Thanks, everyone, for posting as you receive information. Keep it up!
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 05:32 PM
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My Tica student that I host while she attends LSU said two young children were killed while selling candy up at the entrance to Poas. Sadly, they were buried in a landslide. The link below has the story and a few photos from Reuters:

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N08440729.htm

On a lighter note her 4 year old niece was just getting out of the shower when the quake hit and couldn't figure out why she was being pulled back in from the force of the shock waves. Her mom grabbed her, wrapped her in a towel and ran her outside. Poor baby then couldn't understand why she was outside with no clothes on!

Luckily their home and grocery store were undamaged.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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Per earthquake in Costa Rica, I'm the dad of Micah Wonnenberg, member of a short-term study group there from the University of South Dakota. Any news about how the Dakotans are faring? Daddeo
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 05:54 PM
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I sure felt the earthquake, the hotel was swaying a bit but I was shocked how long it lasted. Felt them here before but nothing like that. Called some friends in Dominical and they didnt even notice it. Just depends where you are in Costa Rica. Hope everyone is ok!
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 06:14 PM
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was anyone else able to get the radio broadcast at the link Raquel z posted?
I tried, but first got a message that said in Spanish to upgrade from Firefox 3.0 to 9.3 or greater (don't think that even exists) and then took me to the web page where I wasn't able to get any broadcasts.

Would like to though . .
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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I certainly hope that the damage turns out to be minor and there are few injuries, but I am trying to figure out what to do since I leave on Saturday and our first stop is supposed to be Peace Lodge for two nights. Their phone is not being answered right now, so I assume the report of a power outage is correct.

Does anyone have any suggestions for an alternative for our first two nights? We are supposed to go to Arenal on Monday.

Thanks for any help, and again this is certainly more terrible for the people of Costa Rica than my vacation. I do wish the people of Costa Rica affected by the earthquake the best.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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I am so glad this was posted - I hadn't seen anything on the internet about it. So sad about the little girls who were killed. I have not ever experienced an earthquake; would imagine it is a very unsettling and scary experience.

Daddeo, hope you get some information soon. This is terrible for the residents of Costa Rica to deal with, but it has to be very worrisome for those who have loved ones currently traveling there.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 06:41 PM
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A couple from my hometown in Michigan run a B&B in the SJ suburb of Santa Ana, and are ok, but two of their guests from Nova Scotia went to La Paz Waterfall Garden for the day. They haven't heard from them and are very worried, said there is great damage up there, no power or phone service to that area.

Traveler318 - you might want to call some of the other hotels nearer the airport (very little damage around there) or at Arenal and explain your situation, see if you can reserve a room contingent on Peace Lodge's situation. With this crisis perhaps some of the other hotels will be a little more flexible in case you do cancel out on them for your original plan. Orquideas Inn, Pura Vida, Trapp Family Lodge are just a few near the airport.

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