Posted by Maria Arias on September 21, 2017 | | 0

How is Panama prepared for an earthquake

With all that has happened in recent weeks, the question arises that if Panama's infrastructure will withstand a natural disaster like the one that occurred in Mexico, it had such an impact that buildings and houses collapsed.

Currently in Panama has strong structures to withstand any natural event of great magnitude. Panama's structural engineers say that before a project starts, earthquake tests are carried out to assign the right building material, and they say there is nothing to worry about.

The regulation for structural design in Panama in 2004 includes forecasts for constructions to be resistant to earthquakes. Prior to the construction of any type of project in Panama, international measurement standards are taken into account.

Seismic zones in Panama

The most seismic areas of Panama are: Chiriquí, the border with Colombia, the south of Azuero, and the Caribbean area (Colon and Guna Yala). And in Panama City there are two tectonic plates: Pedro Miguel fault (in the central area of Panama) and Limón (in the province of Colón).

Panama is surrounded by four major tectonic plates: the Caribbean Plate to the north, the Nazca Plate to the south, the South American Plate to the east and the Coco Plate to the southwest.

The major tectonic plates are solid rock that make up the earth's surface and this makes the movements more susceptible to earthquakes. They move because of the heat in the core of the Earth, which causes the rock to move and no longer resist and break free energy in the form of heat or earthquakes.

It is important to know that the hot weather has nothing to do with earthquakes, as there are countries with a cold climate and occurs earthquakes.

Earthquakes registered in Panama

  • On July 18, 1934, there was an earthquake of 7.4 in Chiriquí.
  • The one of the 7 of September of 1882 in the coasts of San Blas with magnitude of 7.9
  • The one of 1991, of 7.6 degrees, that shook the zone of Limón in Costa Rica and Bocas del Toro.
  • The 25 of December of 2003, of 6.9 degrees of magnitude, that shook Puerto Armuelles.

What to do in an earthquake?

- The first recommendation is to stay calm.

- It is advisable to cut the light and the gas if it has been a strong movement.

- Avoid using elevators.

- Remove from the windows.

- Search for evacuation route.

- It is advisable not to go outside to avoid dangers involving the fall of trees, poles and others.

- In the interior of the house, it is necessary to look for protection in the place that less danger offers. Cover your head and place yourself in corners.