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Panama Earthquakes Threaten

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Written by Matt   
Monday, 06 July 2009 17:16
Panama does not have earthquakes: it was one of the first facts I ever learned about the Republic. However not unlike nearly everything that's promoted in Panama, cialis this has proven to be false as the recent week has seen three tremors ranging from a pencil rolling on a desk to a flowerpot falling off the balcony. I consider myself to be something of an earthquake veteran with a unique view on everything that rumbles. When I was around ten, my family was living in California and we experienced an earthquake that measured 7.4 on the Richter Scale. We'd had earthquake drills in school and the precautions were pretty routine: run to the nearest doorway and remain under it until an adult said it was safe to come out again. I always wondered about the magical properties of the doorway and what made it so secure and protected, until that is, I saw the news the next morning and one particular office building that had crumbled to smithereens. Everything except for the doorframe, which remained inexplicably in tact.

The news clip got me thinking more about doorways and why they weren't used in more dangerous settings: a war zone for example or on a wild African safari where people needed to feel out of harm's way.

While California continued to suffer earthquakes, my family moved and basically forgot about them all together. It was nice to be on the east coast again, particularly because the random chances of the earth moving beneath your feet had been reduced. Not until you experience this burden do you realize a great weight has been lifted. It's like all of a sudden being ridden of a chronic disease.

The next earthquake I experienced was in Costa Rica and I was convinced the floor was rattling from a passing truck. "Oh my god" my roommate Liz came out screaming. "Someone get a camera! Someone get a camera!"

"Why don't you get a camera?" I said to Liz, lying still in my rattling bed. "And a better question. Why the hell do you need a camera during an earthquake?" Liz later told me that she had wanted to document the experience and hypothetically provide evidence should the entire building come crashing down. I told her she should just stand in the doorway and everything would be fine.
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When in Panama, I spend most of my time in Casco Viejo which, beyond the generic selling points, is great because everything that could fall down already has. Plus, with its historical preservation laws, Casco Viejo buildings are inherently short in stature: a feature that's more or less preserved the neighborhood for hundreds of years. While no damage was reported after this week's quakes, you couldn't pay me several horse-drawn carriages of gold bullion to live in a downtown tower. I envision them with the structural integrity of an up-standing bottle of suntan lotion. I am very happy, but also very surprised, that 6.3 points of seismic junk in the trunk didn't rattle Panama City to a perilous degree: a catastrophe that could not only put a halt to Panama's mass migration but threaten the very place I feel most at ease.


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ssssshhhhhh.....
written by Sumfin Furryvrone , July 07, 2009
there are no earthquakes, no hurricanes, plenty of city beaches, safety is great, prices are low. Basically we all live in a paradise. So just hush now, joven! The rumble must be something to do with the canal expansion. It was orchestrated by Torrijos to remind everyone of the huge economic boom coming by way of his decision to push through the expansion.

Either that or it was the collective sound of jaws dropping when tourists arrived to Panama City and discovered paradise.

Whatya thunk?
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The New York Times and 'Rubbery' Tectonic Plates....
written by Jesse , July 08, 2009
I am not sure what is happening with the damn earthquakes. I had a good friend of mine up on the coast in Portobelo when the first one hit on Friday night, and he said that there were two big tremors that each lasted for 10 or so seconds. The second one on Sunday he was in the city for, and he said it was tiny by comparison.

God, being in the real estate industry, I do not want to see the day that one of our beloved high-rise buildings is on the front page of the New York Times resting on its side....

Speaking of the New York Times, this is an article that talks about the unique geological configuration here in Panama. Look to the very end of the article for an interesting description of these tectonic plates- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07...ef=science
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written by Kent Davis , July 08, 2009
Most new highrises ( if they are compliant with the law and don't cut corners during contruction) are built based to a seismic code.
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Last Updated on Monday, 06 July 2009 17:19
 
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