Friday, January 09, 2009

Shake, rattle and roll

We had a biggie yesterday; a 6.2 hit the Poas area yesterday at around 1:00. I didn't feel it, as I was heading over to the cafe with some friends and our kids in an old Land Rover (which pretty much always feels like there's an earthquake happening). Esposo felt it, however, and said it was pretty scary and seemed to last a while (30 seconds, perhaps). And when he says an earthquake is scary, it means something to me because he's usually the one sleeping through them or brushing them off with a wave and an "Eh."

At the cafe, we joked that things were probably crazy in the rest of Costa Rica while we were sitting there eating lunch. And that wasn't too far off the mark. Roads have fallen away in parts of the country, especially near Vara Blanca, houses were completely destroyed, and so far the death toll stands at 14 (two of those were little girls selling cajeta near the Poas volcano who got caught in a landslide, and 10 of those were killed near La Paz). My MIL is from San Pedro de Poas, and luckily she was on her way to Escazu when the earthquake hit (so she didn't feel it either). As we watched the news last night, we saw some of the damage to the town of Poas and she even knew some of the people they were interviewing on the news. Yikes.

Here at our house in Santa Ana, the only real casualty was a wooden chicken that had fallen from the top of a kitchen cabinet, though I think I can superglue his head back on. Various things fell off shelves, and immediately I blamed deaf cat Olivia, because she loves to push things off shelves, and then I realized, duh, it was probably the earthquake, not the cat. A few pictures skewed, another cat, Phoebe, was hiding under a blanket, and my little dog Roxy was nowhere to be found. I started freaking out looking for her, and ended up finding her hiding behind the toilet in my bathroom, afraid to come out. Poor baby! Otherwise we're okay. I hope everyone out there reading this from Costa Rica is okay, too.

It's strange, I lived through the Loma Prieta earthquake when I was in California, and that was seriously frightening enough. And I was in Monterey at the time, sitting on solid bedrock. Just down the road in Marina and Seaside, the ground was highly unstable, moving in what looked like giant ocean waves. I can't even imagine how scary it must have been up in Santa Cruz, or San Francisco and Oakland. There's something very, very unsettling about the earth moving underneath you; you expect that the ground is the one thing that should always remain solid (being "grounded" and all that). And personally, I can't even stand being in a boat. The rocking and swaying and moving water really nauseate me. Flying? Not my favorite thing to do, either. I really like my feet on the ground. Unless it's shaking, in which case I am really grateful to be in an old Land Rover.

P.S. A.M. Costa Rica has more thorough information about the quake in English, though they don't do permalinks immediately (sooooo annoying!), so I can only link to the home page right now. I'll update this in a couple of days.


  1. Tom still wants to have a box or a bag in the garage filled with change of clothes, flashlights, first aid kit, water... I'm gonna do it just so he'll calm down. Maybe because the last big quake I went through was in 1972, in L.A., but I'm just not freaked out. Even seeing all the damage around CR.

  2. After the Loma Prieta, we all went around stocking up on canned food and water. And then sort of forgot about it in a couple of months, and went back to our daily lives. I think it's a good idea, though. Can't hurt, certainly. I am a little worried about a couple of people we haven't heard from yet, and about the people esposo used to work with at the hotel. I did sleep pretty soundly last night, though, all things considered.