Panama is in the “Ring of Fire“, a series of volcanoes and plate movements where the majority of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. We have felt a number of earthquakes since we have been in Panama.There are a number of tectonic plates under us in including the Caribbean Plate, and when they shift around we are likely to feel the ground shifting underneath us.
Look, we even have our own Panama Plate!
We were in Boquete Sunday evening. The band was packing up after their afternoon gig, and I was seated and talking when everything started to bump, shake, and roll. I heard glass breaking as something fell off the shelf in the bar. It’s a very strange sensation, like a sudden loss of equilibrium. You expect the ground to be a solid thing under you and when it isn’t, it takes a moment to figure out what’s going on. I can see how it would be frightening because there is no where to go, nothing to do except maybe get out of the way of anything that could fall on you. Thankfully here, in our experience, the quakes cause minimal damage beyond things falling off shelves, like in this David supermarket.
This quake was a 5.3 in Cerro Punta. If you look at Volcan Baru from above, our nearby volcano, Boquete is at about at 3 o’clock, and Cerro Punta is about 12 o’clock so the epicenter wasn’t far. The quake was strong enough that it was felt all the way through central Panama. People said there were two aftershocks following the main quake, but we were probably driving home then and didn’t feel them.
Then Monday, yesterday, we were in Boquete again enjoying an afternoon pot luck. I was again seated and talking with someone when we felt the ground shake. This felt short and mild, but it still registered 4.1 and was again located in Cerro Punta.
Here’s the link to an earthquake tracking site, and as you can see we have quite a few in this area. http://earthquaketrack.com/pa-02-david/recent We don’t always feel them depending on how strong they are and what we are doing, but if we miss one we definitely hear about it because it’s the talk of the town for a day or two. El tremblor! Lo sentiste? Si si, muy fuerte! Wao. (thankfully not much goes on around here, so an event like this is a big deal)
Since we were in Boquete, I’ll close with a few photos taken yesterday.
It did rain in Boquete but not until after we arrived, and it stopped by the time we left so we got lucky. They got a good soaking but there wasn’t a drop of rain in David. We had quite a bit on Sunday though so we are very happy.