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August 10, 2012

WOW, there was a 3.7 or 4.0 (depending on what you read) earth tremor here in Granada this past week.  I was at my computer (always!) on the 2nd floor bedroom at my house one morning. I was waiting for my tutor, Flavia, who was running late and suddenly it sounded as if a herd of elephants had landed on my roof.  The roof is made of the overlapping ceramic tiles so I was dumbfounded. It was creaking and shaking, then the whole room started shaking! Oh-oh!

The cats were looking around with their ears perked up and as I sat there looking outside I realized – whoa, this is an earthquake!  It lasted about 30 seconds and apparently there were several aftershocks, but I did not really feel them. Perhaps that is because I left my room and went downstairs and it is not as noticeable at ground level.

Technically this was not an earthquake according to Nicas, that word is reserved for something stronger when there is much damage. This was an earth tremor and the center was only about 20 miles away under Lake Masaya. I have written about Volcan Masaya which is an active volcano and Lake Masaya is next to it. It was very shallow and that is why it seemed strong.

The town of Masaya is where my tutor lives and she was waiting for the bus to Granada when it happened. Flavia said the highway undulated right in front of her and she was torn between going back home and coming over to Granada as she knew I was waiting for her. She came here.

I have felt earth tremors in both Quito, Ecuador and Cuzco, Peru before but they were much smaller and almost a question of what was that? an earth tremor or someone dropping a safe?  This one left no doubt, very strong especially when you were on a higher floor.

I now know I should have left my room and gone into the garden or anywhere out in the open. One danger is being crushed and with those heavy tiles on the roof I can understand that. Some people say to get under a heavy table and others say to get at the side of a strong object so that the debris leaves an air pocket.  I hope I will not have to find out what works.

Latin America is along a fault line where the Caribbean plate and the Cocos plate come together under the Pacific ocean. This action has created a ridge of volcanoes all along the western coast line from Panama to Mexico. It is an active volcano and earthquake zone, who knows?


From → Granada

  1. How cool! Okay, earthquakes aren’t exactly cool when they cause damage, but I’ve never felt one before! Glad you’re safe!


    • Katie, I agree. I have always been fascinated with rocks and the earth’s movement, so this was cool for me.


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