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Earthquakes are a new concept to us. Peter nor I had ever been in one until we moved to Costa Rica.
I have to say the first one we both experienced was one of the biggest in Costa Rica’s history, clocking in at a 7.6 on the Richter scale in early September 2012. Luckily, there was only one fatality, and I believe it was a person who had a heart attack. Although, there was a lot of structural damage to some areas along the pacific coast. I have also heard that Costa Rica has very high building standards when it comes to earthquake sustainability. That helps me sleep at night. 🙂
I was at school and had to keep calm with a class full of 9 year olds. The only thing I could think to do in the moment was tell them to “get under their desks”! After about a minute of that, when the shaking stopped, we went outside to an open area with the rest of the school. The feeling of land moving beneath your feet is one that feels so unnatural. I think that’s what scared me so much the first time around.
Peter’s experience was quite different, but just as frightening, in my opinion. He was sleeping still (this was about 9 a.m.) and was woken up by the bed shaking out of control, jumps out of bed and runs outside. Talk about a wake up call…lol.
There have also been several smaller ones since then, and every time it’s the same feels, just at different levels depending on how strong or long the earthquake is. You are so surprised and fearful in the moment, and then it’s over!
I really love the way my sister-in-law, Joanna, describes it:
“I loathe earthquakes. There you are one moment, minding your own business, then you suddenly spend the next few seconds in the beginning stages of heart failure and wondering if your picture will be on tv along with all the other victims of this disaster in progress. Then it stops before you die, everything is completely normal again (mostly) and you feel silly and overly dramatic.”
I guess I won’t really miss having a random earthquake every now and then, but I think I might every once in a while. Or, maybe it will just be my own, special Costa Rican experience. 🙂
If you come to CR, chances are you won’t experience one, but you never know! Stay safe!
~Thanks for reading~