Natural Disasters: A Way to Meet Your New Neighbors

Yesterday’s earthquake was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  I lived in California all my life and none of the earthquakes I experienced there compare to what yesterday’s was like.  If you’ve never been in one, it’s difficult to explain but normally (in the small earthquakes we have all the time in California), earthquakes roll the ground a little and last 5-7 seconds.  Yesterday’s, from the reports I read, lasted 30 seconds.  And it was wild.

At first, I didn’t do anything.  I figured it was just one of those quick ones that would roll through.  But as things started to really shift around my house and the coffee mug fell off the table, shattering its handle into pieces across the floor, I realized I better get to someplace safe.  But in this house, there really isn’t a safe place, other than the front door.  Once I realized that though, I tried to walk to the door and found myself teetering back and forth – I couldn’t walk!  The building was moving so much.  I eventually did make it there, holding on to pieces of furniture along the way.  When I opened it, I could see one of my neighbors down the hall who yelled out to me – we gotta get out of here!

A few seconds later, the shaking stopped.  I went back inside and tried to gather a few things, as well as picking up the things that had fallen to the floor.  I then went outside and that’s when I met all my neighbors.  One neighbor had his bird and dog with him, another woman had been in a yoga class in Tamarindo and ran all the way home to get her baby (who was with the nanny), another neighbor had been holding onto his bag of trash for about 10 minutes, in a state of shock.  Others came up from the beach carrying their boards, not even knowing that an earthquake had happened.  Inside the market, there were lots of soda bottles that had fallen to the floor.  One of the locals had a battery operated radio so we listened in to see what the reports said.

Originally, it was a 7.9 based near Nicoya but that was then changed to a 7.6 in the Pacific outside of Samara, a beach town near Nosara where I have a lot of friends.  It’s about 60 miles south from where I live.  A tsunami warning was issued and we decided to hop in one of the trucks and head up to Eagle’s Nest, a hill above Tamarindo.  We weren’t the only ones – about 200 other people were already there and more were walking up the hill as we approached.

Once we learned the tsunami warning was lifted, we went back down the hill.  There were still aftershocks and tiles falling off the roof of our building when we arrived back to the building.

Still shaken up, and still no electricity, we decided we’d go with the owner of Lola’s (a popular beachfront restaurant in Avellanes) to their new location in Playa Danta to relax for the afternoon.  I quickly checked in on Harmony to make sure he was okay and to see if there was any further damage from the sizeable aftershocks that happened after we left.

It was an interesting way to meet the new neighbors and make a few new friends at Lola’s as well.  When I returned home, Harmony was under the kitchen table and I had to laugh since that was probably one of the safest places for him to be.  Instinctually, he must have known to go hide under a piece of furniture.

After a night of continuing aftershocks, it’s nice to wake up to blue skies and sunshine.

Life is never dull here on the Rich Coast.

Pura vida…Chrissy