The Earthquake — By Lydian Shipp
Central America Costa Rica North America

The Earthquake — By Lydian Shipp

So, at about…. 8:42 or so, there was an earthquake here in Costa Rica. We’re currently located just outside of Alajuela, a city located just outside of Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. The earthquake’s magnitude was originally a 7.9, but now the Internet is saying it’s a 7.6. It was somewhere around there. So far we’ve heard some helicopters flying overhead and some ambulances going by, but it’s hard to tell what’s happening there. It wasn’t a mild tremor in Alajuela, the tree in our backyard that will occasionally throw fruit from it’s branches was dropping fruit left and right, the blender fell off of the top of the fridge into the trashcan, and broke, the female statue outside fell, and now contains a crack, debris was all over the floor, the TV moved, and there’s a crack in the wall (and the ceiling).

I had just woken up when it began, my dad was in the dining room, and my mom was outside doing her workout. Quite suddenly, I started to notice that I felt like things were moving. At first, I didn’t think much of it because I live in Nebraska where wind gusts blow so hard it feels a bit like things are moving, and I’ve lived in an RV for in the past where whenever somebody moves, it feels like the whole RV is going to fall over. But then it occurred to me that we’re in Costa Rica, and things aren’t extremely windy here (we’ve only felt one or two breezes the whole time we’ve been here). And I’m not in an RV.

Once I realized that the reason my bed was moving was because there was an earthquake, I got out of bed and ran into the kitchen right as my dad was yelling “earthquake!”. My mom was running out of the clothes-hanging shelter by this time. We all went outside and huddled in the middle of the red tile circle outside, where we could hear the trees swaying wildly and the ground rumbling (rather loudly, in my opinion). It lasted ninety seconds, probably, but it’s hard to tell. It felt like an eternity. Apparently, this earthquake was long…

The epicenter of the earthquake was somewhere between 30 and 50 miles from Liberia, a city in northern Costa Rica. It was about 25 miles below the surface. In San Jose, 87 miles from Liberia, the power went out, buildings rattled, and water flowed from pools. Where we are, outside of Alajuela, there were some lights that flickered a little bit but it was nothing major, which was a bit of a shock. There are tsunami warnings right now for the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua, with some potential of tsunamis on the coasts all the way up to Mexico and all the way down to Chile. The earthquake was felt all the way to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. So far, we haven’t felt any other aftershocks here, but there might be some still… I don’t know a whole lot about earthquakes yet.

(NOTE: This post was written when I was 12. I edited it in 2017 for grammatical errors and other technical stuff, but maintained the content to preserve my 12-year-old perspective)

Related Posts:

Costa Rica Earthquake 2012 – By Jennifer Shipp

Our Costa Rican Earthquake – September 5, 2012

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