We want to thank you for your prayers during this time of grief and hardship for the people of Costa Rica. As of this morning there are 25 known fatalities and 64 people are still missing, several of them are tourists who were in the area of the epicenter. Both of those numbers is expected to increase. We have had over 2200 aftershocks and these will continue for possibly days or weeks until the fault stabilizes. Recovery operations are hampered because of the danger of more landslides. Help is coming in from outside the country. The US military (from a base in Honduras) sent in 4 helicopters and 35 personnel to help with the rescue and recovery operations. Columbia sent one of it military helicopters and crew also. Most of the rescue and recovery operations have been by air because the ground is very unstable.
A close watch is being kept on Poas Volcano. Immediately after the quake, there was an increase in fumarole activity which has since subsided. There was some structural damage to the walls of the principle crater as well. However, at this time the national geological institute OVSICORI is reporting that the volcano shows no signs of increased activity. They will, of course, continue to be very watchful.
The quake occurred on a local fault called the Rio Sarapiqui Fault. This fault is part of the surface evidence of the location where the Caribbean and the Cocos Tectonic Plates converge many miles underground.
Several folks have contacted us thinking that our ministry location was affected by the quake because they have heard the name Cartago mentioned in news reports. We minister in the city of Cartago. One of the mountain villages severely damaged is called Los Cartagos.
I am including photos with this post. I did not take them myself but rather got them from the Costa Rican news agencies websites.
Your continued prayers are much appreciated.