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7.6 Earthquake in Cangrejal of Samara
Municipality of Nicoya and National Emergency Commission Assessing Damages in Nosara
· Water System Collapsed in Nosara
· FUCAN Hall Will Be Used as Shelter

By Ethel Araya and Giordano Ciampini

At around 2 p.m. a meeting was held with representatives of the Municipality of Nicoya, who arrived in Nosara to evaluate structural damages in the town in order to report to the National Emergency Commission (CNE). 

Plaza Guiones stands with shattered shingles strewn about the ground minutes after the earthquake hit.

On behalf of Nosara, representatives of the Nosara Integral Development Association and the Nosara ASADA were present in the meeting to receive Steven Alfaro and Melisa Salas from the municipality.

The Nosara ASADA reported 587 homes without water service due to fractures in various places in the pipes and damage to one of the system’s two storage tanks. Juan Luis Rodriguez, of the Emergency Committee, explained that the diameter of the pipes are insufficient at only 2 inches, due to the amount of time they’ve been in use, more than 20 years.

Emergency committee member Jose Luis Rodriguez and police Chief Gerardo Aguilar check the Santa Marta bridge for cracks or other
indications of damage before it could be used again following the earthquake.

“The water deposit is completely broken, and we are anticipating not having water back from a few days,” Rodriguez said.

Emergency committee members check the town's water supply following a complete breakdown of the local water system. Residents
are anticipating at least 48 hours without running water.

The FUCAN hall will be used as a shelter if necessary. Marcos Avila, president of the Development Association, assured that they have propane gas tanks, gas burners and mattresses for people that need to go to the shelter.  

The interior of the John Fraser building in Nosara shows obvious signs of severe damage following the earthquake. It is presumed to be
recommended for tear-down after showing damage to the foundations of the building.

“We are just waiting for the quantity of people that need help to be determined in order to request coupons from CNE for provisions. We are now requesting a trailer of water,” Avial informed.  

Melisa Salas, civil engineer representing the CNE, went around the town, visiting damaged houses and determining if it is safe for occupants to stay in them or not. The five-story building that has been under construction for several years in the center of Nosara across from the soccer field is closed down, and according to Steven Alfaro, complete demolition for “severe structural damage” is under consideration. The Catholic church is also shut down. 

Warning tape keeps people away from Nosara's John Fraser building after municipal engineers determined that it's too dangerous to
stay opened to workers or otherwise.

Several of the inspected houses were declared uninhabitable in the neighborhoods of Los Arenales, Hollywood, San Carlos and Santa Teresa. Also it was reported that the community of Zaragoza is cut off by landslides in the roadway.

In the entire canton, the CNE is working with other government entitites to determine the damages.  Alfaro, from the Municipality of Nicoya, reported that before coming to Nosara they were able to visit several buildings in the central district of Nicoya, where there is considerable damage to the buildings of CCSS, MINAET and the Colonial church. “They are evaluating if the structures can be recovered or if they should be demolished.”

Nicoya municipality engineer Melissa Salas inspects a severely damaged corner of a two-storey dwelling in Nosara following the
earthquake which struck in the morning hours of September 5th, 2012.

Brian Bombard, chief of the Nosara volunteers firemen said “we were able to gather two generators with one to be placed at the Guiones Police Station and the other in Nosara at the Cruz Roja (Red Cross). They were donated by Jerry Agee and Eduardo Arrieta and will be at these locations for the next 48 hours in the event there are any major aftershocks.”

Ripples lay across the sand following the 7.6 scale earthquake which struck Costa Rica's pacific coast the morning of September
5th, 2012.

“This is to do our best to ensure we keep emergency communications open. Also the Cruz Roja quickly responded to the beach area to see about casualties and alert people to move to safer locations”, said Bombard


More Regional News

Fined Foreigners Face Re-entry Ban

According to the new Ley de Transito (traffic law), foreigners who do not pay a traffic ticket before leaving Costa Rica will be denied re-entry into the country on their next visit – whether by land or air.

Legislators Approve Moratorium on Evictions in Coastal Communities
“Decision of the President is Only a Postponement of the Evictions, Not a Solution” Gerardo Chaves Cordero (CIMACO)

The Legislative Assembly has approved in both the first and second debates a law that establishes a 24-month moratorium to halt evictions of inhabitants of special zones, including the maritime land zone.

Samara Discusses Disaster Preparedness

Although, the red alert was lowered to yellow and shelters were shut down, many remain nervous with so many aftershocks – over 1700 by Tuesday 11- and the possibility of another big quake.

Psychologists Visit Nosara and Samara to Calm People’s Nerves

On Monday, September 10, a group of 10 psychologists from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and the College of Psychologists arrived in the communities of Samara and Nosara to meet with the populace and school teachers with the goal of giving them post-earthquake therapy.

This Was the Anticipated Earthquake for Nicoya, but Seismic Potential Remains

The September 5, 2012 earthquake in Cangrejal of Samara had a magnitude and location in the place foreseen by the scientific work published by OVSICORI during the last fifteen years. 

Effect on Tourism in the Coast Should Be Minimal

Optimism abounds as people in Samara and Nosara have assessed damages caused by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday, September 5th with the epicenter in Cangrejal of Samara. Some have commented that it was fortunate that the earthquake happened during the day since injuries and structural damages were minimal.

Was This the Big One?

Three days after the 7.6 magnitude earthquake shook the country, a lot of information has been received  and processed by the Costa Rican Sismology and Volcanology Observatory (OVSICORI); nonetheless conclusions are few and progressive. 

Nicoya Requests Collaboration of Civil Engineers to Facilitate Home Inspections
240 Homes Affected

The Municipality of Nicoya requested the voluntary help of associated civil engineers to evaluate the damages suffered by houses and buildings alter the earthquake on Wednesday morning. 

Bridges over Rio Montaña and Nosara Not Seriously Damaged
RAASA Will Begin Work on Route 160 on Saturday, the 8th

After the 7.6 magnitude earthquake on September 5th, the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) assured that the bridges over Río Montaña and Nosara River not only withstood the strong shaking of the quake and aftershocks, but additionally the structures don’t show severe damages.

Not Everyone Can Return to Daily Life After Earthquake

Although aftershocks continue to be felt constantly—now numbering more than 1,000—people are returning to their normal lives. For many, this is easy to do since their homes and businesses didn’t sustain damage or the damage was minimum after the earthquake on Wednesday, September 5th.

Video of 7.6 Earthquake in Nosara

Samara Remains Under Red Alert After Earthquake
Medical Services Are Limited

Still under red alert, 236 men, women and children are sleeping and eating in three designated shelters in the district of Samara, the epicenter of the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that shook and shocked many on Wednesday morning, September 5th. 

President Chinchilla Came to Nicoya to Evaluate Situation
-Vice-Minister of Housing inspected damage in Nosara

Thursday morning, September 6th, President of the Republic Laura Chinchilla toured various parts of the canton in order to evaluate the situation 24 hours alter the earthquake with epicenter in Samara Beach

Engineers Survey Nosara Damage

Two engineers from the Architects and Engineer Federal College were present in Nosara this Thursday, September 6th, observing homes and surveying the damage resulting from the 7.6 magnitude earthquake, which struck in the morning hours of September 5th, 2012.

7.6 Earthquake in Cangrejal of Samara
Information from the National Seismological Network (UCR)

8 km to the northeast of Samara
15 kilometers deep
7.6 intensity on the Richter scale
Felt as far away as Nicaragua

7.6 Earthquake in Cangrejal of Samara
7.6 Magnitude Earthquake Damages Several Structures in Nicoya

This Wednesday, September 5th a powerful, magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck approximately 8 kilometers northeast from the town of Samara, generating a strong quake whose force was felt throughout the country, but mostly on the Nicoya Peninsula.

46% of Ticos Lack Faith in the Police
Opinions in Nosara and Samara are Mixed

The absolute trust that the majority of Costa Ricans once had in the officers of the Public Force has been diminishing through the years, giving way to an increase in the perception of greater insecurity in the country, according to reports from the United Nations Development Program (PNUD).

Nosara Center Asphalt Project Still in the Works

The project to pave two kilometers in the center of Nosara is being held up due to a funding issue in the municipality, so it might be a couple more months before the project can be completed. 

Municipality Looks to Recover Green Zones and Public Areas

The municipality is trying to sort out registries of lands in Garza, Nosara and Samara that are improperly registered. The lands include green zones, public property and streets in Samara and Nosara, as well as concessionable lands in the maritime zone of Garza.

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