Moving and Shaking

Trip Start Jul 31, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Costa Rica  , San Jose,
Thursday, September 13, 2012

Well it has been a crazy, event filled couple weeks since I last wrote. The first major thing I should probably touch on was the big earthquake that we had here last week. Last Tuesday we got an email from the principal filling us in on the evacuation procedure for fires or other emergencies. On Wednesday I got to school and ran into the principal and he gave me a heads up that we would have a drill sometime in the morning, he didn't want to fill me in too much so it was still a surprise. I went to my classroom and got the evacuation procedure explained with more details from my lead 5th grade teacher. Students then arrived and one of the first things that we did was walk through what we do during and emergency evacuation. We talked about staying calm and quiet and all the other details. About 40 minutes after having this discussion we were cleaning up from an activity and I could feel an earthquake. It started small and at first none of the students said anything so I let them continue cleaning up. It then got stronger and all the students looked right at me. I got the kids lined up right away, later I found out we should have ducked under tables first then lined up, but my door leads right outside I figured it would be better to get them outside. I guess you are supposed to stay covered until it stops shaking then you evacuate. Well we got the whole school evacuated, preschool, elementary, middle and high school. As soon as I had the kids sitting outside they started to ask if that was the drill! My response was we can't simulate an earthquake, it indeed was a real earthquake! The whole school waited outside for about 40 minutes while they did a check of all of the buildings. We were lucky that we didn't get any damage. It ended up being a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. Since we didn't have any damage we returned to class for the rest of the day. I had a couple students who went home because they were nervous and scared as a result of the earthquake. We were lucky that we didn't feel any of the after shocks in Escazu. As the day went on I found out that the drill was scheduled for 9:15. The earthquake happened at 8:45! I guess Earth had her own plans for practicing evacuating! 

There was some damage throughout Costa Rica from the earthquake but overall we were very lucky to sustain very little damage throughout the country. And for those that may have been worried about a tsunami, Escazu is surrounded by mountains so I should never have to worry about any tsunamis. 
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