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Thursday, June 30, 2005

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program: Earthquake Report: PANAMA-COSTA RICA BORDER REGION

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program: Earthquake Report: PANAMA-COSTA RICA BORDER REGION

WHOOPS! We just had another "temblor." It seemed to last forever, although, I'm sure it wasn't all that strong. A couple of small objects got knocked off countertops. The walls have a few more cracks added to them. The birds were scared sh__less! The concrete apron around the house looks like someone is trying to chop it up into several smaller squares with spaces in between. One of the cracks on the north side spiderwebbed - first going from north to south and then out to east and west. That's the way the quake itself felt, too. The apron is separated from the house on a part of the west side. Most of the damage seems to be on the north side. Since I have a large number of giant cockroaches living in glass containers at the moment, I can say definitely that Archimandrita tesselata, the giant Peruvian or peppered cockroach, does not become more active or show signs of agitation prior to an earthquake. My birds and those of a neighbor who has a veritable zoo of animals, however, did start screaming before the humans felt the quake. But only by seconds. There was a thunder storm in progress at the time and that added to the general ambiance of TERROR. Fortunately, the actual length of the quake was probably less than two minutes, so we (Martin and I) were able to go around soon checking for damage and breakage and calming the animals. Linda, the Siberian husky, was howling and Bonnie, Linda's daughter, was whining and pawing frantically at the gate of her "perrera" or kennel. Since it was raining heavily, we did not attempt to walk the entire property to check for earthslides, damage to Nogui's house, the state of the chickens, and the crops. Everything seemed pretty calm, though. I called John and Gerri Whittle (the friends with the zoo) because this would have been their first biggie in their new house. I was a bit worried because the house is built on two levels on a hillside. But they assured me there seemed to be only minor damage equivalent to mine. Nothing major, thank goodness. The electricity didn't go out as it had in the Christmas eve earthquake of 2003 and my office remained intact. A veritable miracle considering the chaos it's in with papers stacked high on every surface. After the 2003 quake which did a lot of damage in the office, I had a special piece of furniture built to house a lot of my "stuff." It is attached to the wall and is very well built. I also bought a metal two-door cabinet for supplies and that held everything in check. I do occasionally learn from experience.

Refer back to my article on earthquakes and volcanoes in the 05/15/2005 archive for more information about earthquakes and resources.

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I live on the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica. My adult children live in the United States. I have a Masters Degree in Gerontology but have worked as a migrant laborer, chicken egg collector, radio broadcaster, secretary, social worker, research director, bureaucrat, writer, editor, political organizer, publicist, telephone operator, and more. My hobby of photography has garnered some awards.

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