Recently, there were several tremors in certain places in CR, specially in Upula, North zone of the country.

This is very natural in Costa Rica due to we live in seismic region, and we are plently of volcanoes (by the way, one of our main attractions).

Technically, our Costarican bureau of engineers and architects (CFIA in Spanish) and the main universities, have prepared professionals to design and build seismic-resistant buildings and structures all around the country, according to the local seismic risk involved. So, as users, we have an excellent chance to get out of a building without suffering wounds. The structure should resist all the forces while people are leaving the place and even keeping stable for being used over and over again.

In a critical case, the structure would be stable meanwhile people are escaping, even the damage is so important that the building should be knocked down to the ground after the even. In the most of the cases, buildings and houses would be ready to be used right away.

In any case, it is necessary to keep in mind some advice and strategies in order to avoid suffering wounds while we are in the middle of an earthquake.

Even going out is one of the best choices, be careful during the tremor about the windows, specially because of the glasses. Be careful about the electricity lines and trees outside.

It is a good idea to have a plan for evacuating, but sometimes we forget it because we ussually are confused, afraid and even terrified. So, try to stay calm while the event is happening.

I suggest to go close to the bathrooms´ walls, if you have no chance to go out of the building. Why ? Those walls are much more closer one to another than the rest in the house, so its internal reinforcement is stronger than in other places in the house, and it is a safer place than in the large rooms. Also, don´t use the stairs, neither the elevators, while an earthquake is occurring.

The good part is that the most of the constructions in CR are stronger enough to resist the regular earthquakes, because they have been well constructed, according to our seismic reality. But, try to repair any cracks after the events, because the structure resisted the forces but the cracks could indicate it did its job but the resistence could be less than before the event. The most of the times, the cracks are just on the final cement layer of the walls, that is pretty fragile, like an eggshell, but the walls, themselves, are ok inside.

If you suspect there is an important damage (like a crack crossing the wall side to side)ask for a builder´s opinion. Usually you can fix those important cracks locally, it means, cutting the wall where the crack is for adding extra rebars inside, filling the crack with expansive concrete.

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