Our first tremor

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Last night we experienced our first serious tremor.

I say serious because we had felt slight tremors before. Both in Alajuela and in Guanacaste. They usually came at night and they felt as if someone had forgotten a mobile in vibration mode on the bed. Like a subtle, almost unnoticeable move. But strong enough that we would wake up.

Last night’s was different. First it was the noise. Like when Matilda plays with her ball or a catch. Trop Trop Trop. Pause. Trop. Trop. Trop. Trop. Only that much louder.

But no vibration at all.

I turned around and asked Frank -who was about to fall sleep- What was that? And he mumbled something that sounded like …. Matilda playing…duhu!?

I was JUST replying to him that the noise felt much louder and outside, when the entire house started shaking. The shutters of the windows started flapping and the hinges of the doors squeaking. And just when Frank was asking if we should leave the house, the move and the sound stopped all together. It was over in about a minute or less.

The whole episode reminded us of the fact that :

1.Costa Rica is geologically speaking an active country, with tremors, volcano and gas eruptions and even earthquakes.

2.Tremors do not necessarily start with shakes, like in the movies, but with noise. I guess that one can train the ear to recognize the sound preceding the shake, which leads us to my third point.

3.One has hardly any time to put the shoes in the time between the warning (noise) and the actual tremor. Let alone try to go anywhere. At least, when the tremor is not strong or long, as it was yesterday. As someone told us recently, it will not matter much in any case, as it is also trembling outside the house. Unless one is under something that might fall like a tree or a roof…but will one have the time to go outside?

4. Last, but not least, we have been told that an earthquake is expected in Osa at any time now. It might not happen at all while we are here, but if it That might probably mean, at the very least, interruptions in the water and electricity supply. It made us think about the importance of keeping some bottled water at home, a bag of candles and some canned food, just in case.

As we would say in Spanish “Más vale prevenir que curar” which roughly translates as “Better be safe than sorry”. And when the probability is as high as in here…it would be plain stupid not to do so. Right?

Click the map to see the latest sismic activity in Costa Rica. The tremor was 5,8.

7 thoughts on “Our first tremor

  1. In CR nature is “vibrant”, literally. So, be prepared with extra water, some candles, some extra food… just what common sense tells you. Ah, be sure to know where you put your keys, important documents and “the killing sandals”!!!
    It was your first tremor, but not the last one for sure. Living in a wooden house is a good thing, it moves along the tremor!!!


    1. Que no va a ser el último lo tenemos asumido. Hoy nos han pasado la dirección de la página web donde podemos ver la magnitud del terremoto. 5,8, que no está mal. Sólo espero que el próximo no sea muy fuerte. Porque impresiona….


  2. ‘Better be safe than sorry’, translates good for the Spanish proverb.
    I would also recommend having medicines, passports, and money (mainly cash, as visa may not work in a no electricity scenario) in a safe place for the aftermath.
    Shake it oh baby!


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