Nicaragua has experienced a string of earthquakes that emanated from the fault lines directly under Managua during the last week, ranging from 5.1 to 6.7 on the Richter scale. There have also been aftershocks. The temblors have caused serious concern among seismologists and other experts, and reminded many in Nicaragua of the devastating 1972 earthquake that left 10,000 dead and over 250,000 homeless.
In Nicaragua, they are preparing for the worst. The Army has been deployed to set up emergency hospital facilities to be used in the event of a catastrophic quake. The government has advised that people sleep outside in the coming nights. Some residents of Managua identified as high-risk (due to age or living in unsafe structures) have been evacuated to government facilities.
From the Tico Times:
Ineter experts and the government believe that the seismic danger has not passed and that the population should not let its guard down.
“We have to remain vigilant of the signs” that the government “has given us as to not mourn (more) casualties,” said Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes to thousands of followers during a procession in Managua to start the Holy Week celebrations.
[First Lady] Murillo summed the casualties and damage as one dead, 38 injured, along with 2,354 homes partially or totally damaged, and more than 700 buildings cracked, including several hospitals, in 17 municipalities in the departments of Managua, León, Granada, Carazo, Madriz and Boaco.
The concern now is that the earthquakes may have re-activated the fault lines that meet under Lake Managua. This dangerous intersection was the source of the 1972 quake.
At the Quixote Center we are thinking of our many Nicaraguan partners, and hope that there will be no need for the disaster preparation measures the country is taking.