COSTA RICA NEWS – Nearly two years after the major 2012 so-called Samara earthquake damaged 75 Guanacaste school buildings, only four of them have been completely repaired, revealed Education Ministry vice minister Rocio Solis Wednesday. That means some 10,000 students are in unrepaired or partially repaired facilities.
“In these first days of a new Administration,” said Solis grimly, “we’re examining the situation at the Ministry in the area of infrastructure because it seems impossible that that two years afterwards there should be schools still in the planning phase.”
Some students still receive classes in community centers while a few like La Lorena school in Guanacaste province are still awaiting reconstruction of their classrooms. During the time of ex-Education Minister Leonardo Garnier, repair and building were held up awaiting legalizing land even before contracts were signed.
On Sept. 5, 2012, a 7.6 earthquake, a major one in any country, hit Guanacaste province on a fault on land with an epicenter near Samara, shaking up a popular tourist area (thankfully in the off-season) and damaging buildings but resulting in no loss of life.
A major public hospital in the port city of Puntarenas was heavily damaged, along with churches and other older buildings not up to modern seismic standards. The sharp quake caused no deaths, a tribute to even some of the older, obsolete building standards.
The Education Ministry issued nearly 6 million colones for repair and replacement funds but all too little (less than 3%) has been spent. The schools tend to be smaller than ones on the Central Highlands. In all, the Ministry is looking at 279 buildings deemed by the Health Ministry as substandard.
Article by iNews.co.cr, reposted with permission.