CFCA news

Costa Rica staff checks on families after quakes

September 10, 2012

Local CFCA staffers in Costa Rica are visiting communities to assess the situation after two major earthquakes.

The first earthquake, of a 7.6-magnitude intensity, struck the nation on Sept. 5. Its epicenter was about 94 miles west of San Jose, Costa Rica's capital, in the Nicoya peninsula.

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Local news outlets have reported more than 1,000 aftershocks since the first quake.

One of these aftershocks was a 5.4-magnitude earthquake on Sept. 8, about 40 miles south-southeast of the city Liberia.

"Families in general are very nervous and worried," said Rafael Villalobos, coordinator of CFCA's San Jose project. "They are wondering if they will suffer a much stronger [earthquake] later."

Large hospitals west of San Jose suffered major structural damages, and schools suffered damages as well.

"Other communities where CFCA works, such as Guatuso and Los Chiles, northwest of San Jose, have had communication problems from mudslides blocking main access to roads," Villalobos said.

In the area of Jicaral, west of San Jose, residents use a ferry service to move from one place to another. Because of the earthquake, land in this area has raised itself about 5 feet from its normal level, which has caused a hold on all ferry services.

"I have been informed by our social workers that some families have had problems in their homes with cracked walls and no running water," Villalobos said. "In the area of Nicoya, parents of sponsored members who work as fishermen are not authorized to enter the ocean because of aftershocks, which is greatly affecting their income."

CFCA staff members in the affected areas are organizing meetings for families to be together, share their burdens and fears, and offer mutual support.

"At this moment, CFCA is contributing to those families with food supplies and purified water," Villalobos said.

This report will be updated as more information is available. Please keep everyone affected in your prayers.

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