Marino Protti Explained That Seismic Potential Remains in the Peninsula

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Costa Rican seismologist Marino Protti visited the community of Nosara on Sunday, July 7, to give a presentation to the community, to give people the opportunity to better understand, in scientific terms, what happened after the earthquake of September 5, 2012, which had its epicenter in Samara with a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale.

In addition, the meeting served to make people aware of what might happen in the future in terms of seismic activity in the peninsula.

During the presentation, Protti said the earthquake last year was unusual because it didn´t produce the amount of replicas expected from an eartquake of this magnituted, despite the general feeling of having a lot of replicas.

The process of accommodation of the fault after its displacement during the earthquake is being monitored by OVSICORI through seismic stations and global positioning devices (GPS) across  Nicoya Peninsula, with the purpose of interpreting what could happen in the next seismic cycle. However, it is a scientific process that requires long periods of study before generating any results.

“Reinterpretations of what can happen still can’t be made because there is a lot of data to process and record. At the moment, our intention, as scientists, is to be transparent with people and tell what we do and do not know. We do not have the information to say how the next movement will be; rather we can only report that the potential is there,” Protti clarified.

Protti also noted that even though, the earthquake was not the culmination of the seismic cycle,  as there is still movement and energy to be released, the process is long. He noted that people in Nicoya should be prepared for earthquakes, but people should not live in a state of alert; rather they should just be prepared as they continue with their regular life.

 “Definitely, the peninsula is an example worldwide, showing that anticipating an event of this magnitude has a positive impact. No one was killed, and damage to infrastructure was not as great when compared to the damage that usually occurs with an earthquake like that in any other part of the world,” expressed Protti.

Attendees showed great relief after learning more thoroughly about the seismic process of the peninsula, and especially, their communities.

“I think it gives a clearer view of what is the future we have to be prepared for. This talk served me well because you can stopworrying about what people say and listen to information directly from those who know the subject,” said Javier Hernandez Jiron, a resident of Nosara.

The event was attended by about 30 people and was organized by the Local Emergency Committee and the Integral Development Association of Nosara (ADIN), who urged residents to continue participating in these events for the well-being and development of the community, in the face of such eventualities.