Thursday 23 September 2021

Thursday’s Quake Revived Memories of Last Year

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As if to remind Nicoya residents who is in charge, a 5.8 tremor struck 55.9 kilometers west of Santa Cruz canton’s Cabo (Cape) Velas at 6:39am Thursday morning, reviving fears of one last year.

The colonial church of Nicoya was one of the many affected by the strong earthquake on September 5, 2012.
The colonial church of Nicoya was one of the many affected by the strong earthquake on September 5, 2012.

Fortunately, unlike last Sept. 5, the quake caused no further damage and was at a comfortable 38.9 kilometers deep.

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The scars are still there from the 7.6 quake a year ago when homes and building were destroyed but, fortunately, no deaths resulted. The national welfare agency IMAS is still paying rent for 197 families left homeless by the big quake and 2,812 persons are still receiving some sort of aid.

Unlike the 2012 epicenter that was on land, this occurred in the Pacific Ocean. Last year’s quake was somewhat expected — seismologists had expected another “big one” after the devastating quake destroyed, among other buildings, the church in Santa Cruz in the 1950s.

“A big one” comes along every 50 years or so and that one was overdue. But the earthquake labs at the University of Costa Rica and UNA in Heredia disagreed that pressure on the plates under the Pacific and west coast of the country had been relieved by the earth movement felt in 20 cantons.

Of course, the most affected was Guanacaste province in northwestern Costa Rica, especially the Nicoya Peninsula. Predictions of another severe quake did not sit well with politicians like the mayor of Nicoya for fear that industry would avoid establishing in his town. But scientists do not worry about such things.

The quake last year was the second strongest in 70 years and caused more than 22 billion colones damage. This one Thursday morning was more like a replica or aftershock after a strong quake. Quakes between 5 and 6 on current scales are not unusual in this country and seldom cause much damage.

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Reports by QCR staff

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