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Tremors August 7, 2013

Posted by stinawp in Uncategorized.

June 24


At a little after 2 yesterday, we had two very small earthquakes, one after the other. I was in the lab, taking care of my caterpillars. The first was mostly a loud rattle of the building above my head, almost indistinguishable from the racket the many iguanas around the station make when they scrabble around on the roofs. But while an iguana can sound like gale-force winds or a sizable tree branch landing on the roof, it doesn’t make the floor vibrate. That faint vibration made me think it might be an earthquake a few seconds before I was convinced by a larger clatter, along with a dippy sensation like hitting turbulence in an airplane.

All in all, the two tremors were completely harmless: they didn’t even knock over the vials of ethanol I preserve my dead caterpillars in. They weren’t even the first tremors since I’ve been here. On June 13th there was supposedly one at 11:30 in the morning. I didn’t feel it, but some of the OTS students did. Similarly, today there were theoretically aftershocks, but I didn’t notice any. All these earthquakes are caused by the Cocos Plate off the Pacific coast sliding under the Panama plate (which actually has both Panama and Costa Rica on it). Last year, when I stayed at a field station right on the Pacific, they told us to keep our lights, our shoes, and a water bottle right by our beds, and if we heard or felt anything remotely like an earthquake, to run as far up and inland as we could to avoid possible tsunamis. Fortunately, we never had to follow those instructions.



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