Posted by: pennyinparadise | November 28, 2008

Natural Disasters of 2008

WOW…..seems like I turned my back to go to Ecuador and Boquete exploded in Natural Disasters.  First there was the the 6.2 earthquake just off the coast of the border of Panama and Costa Rica.   Read the Reuters News Report on this.   Here’s where it hit (map courtesy of USGS).

The black line just left of the epicenter is the border between Costa Rica and Panama

The black line just left of the epicenter is the border between Costa Rica and Panama

David is Panama’s third largest city and is just 23 kilometers from this border.   Boquete is 20 miles up in the mountains above David….so this was REALLY close.   That blanket of clouds you see over Panama brought the next natural disaster just a few days later….

A 48 hour downpour of monumental proportions came down right in the area of Boquete where I live.   It is said to be the worst flood in 40 years in this area.    I haven’t seen my house, but neighbors report it looks okay.   My tenant is not in town, so I’m hoping for the best when she returns.   I may need to fly back to Boquete to check on it soon.    Here are some photos courtesy of www.boqueteweather.com and other sources that are posted on the internet.

River behind the place across the street from my house

River behind the place across the street from my house

Normally, at this time of year (dry season) this river above is hardly a trickle.  Below is an aerial view showing how the river split into two parts.

Aerial view of the river

Aerial view of the river

Many roads washed out, like this one

Many roads washed out, like this one

This hotel is brand new and is now ruined....water above first floor

This hotel is brand new and is now ruined....water above first floor

Those who have visited in the last 2 years will recall this new hotel (above) took 2 years to build and was just opened in May of 2008.    There was a front lawn, then the road, and then a big parcel of undeveloped land before the banks of the river.   The waves crested over the bottom floor….the entire building has been ruined.  (see last photo below of clean up of this road).

This road into town completely washed away

This road into town completely washed away

Our brand new bridge was totally covered

Our brand new bridge was totally covered destroyed

Some of you have visited and remember the old bridge…..some visited while the bridge was closed for new construction….some have enjoyed the brand new bridge that opened in early 2008.   Well, here it is (or not) completely being destroyed by the force of the flood (above).    Below is the bridge after the water went down.

Once the water receeded it left the bridge collapsed

Once the water receeded it left the bridge collapsed

Tragedy upon tragedy…..then, when they immediately began to clear things with big yellow machines, one of them working on the bridge above had it’s own problems (see 2 photos below)

Machine clearing bridge rubble tipped over

Machine clearing bridge rubble tipped over

Luckily it had a friend nearby who helped bring it back standing

Luckily it had a friend nearby who helped bring it back standing

Palo Alto Restaurant down the road from my house

Palo Alto Restaurant down the road from my house

View of nearby land that became river

View of nearby land that became river

The trout farm in nearby Bambito was totally ruined.   All the trout were killed.    An annoucement was made that they were giving away free fish and both people and animals came from all around to take their fill.   Now the trout farm will have to begin anew.

People taking trout from the farm

People taking trout from the farm

Trout didn't survive the flood

Trout didn't survive the floods

You may recall that I owned one last piece of property on the other side of the Volcano, in Bambito.   It was on the river!!! The good news is that I sold this to the neighbor on September 1, ask I left Panama to come to Ecuador.    I don’t know the status of that property, but below is the road leading to it.

Road leading to the property I just sold that was on the river

Road leading to the property I just sold that was on the river

Unfortunately, many animals were left homeless like this little dog below…..but some horses, dogs and pigs who were tied up did not escape and were drowned in the floods.    As true Boquetenos, the ExPats have pitched in with food, clothing, furnishings, etc. in relief for humans.   And Fundacion de los Animales de Boquete has begun a fundraising to collect money for food for those unfortunate animals who are now homeless.   That’s the best thing about Boquete…..the immediate response of the ExPat community to help their new country.

Our animal friends are also affected by the flood

Our animal friends are also affected by the flood

The US Military was called in to assist in disaster relief…….they came with helicopters and medical personnel from a ship in the east Pacific.   It’s this kind of military action that makes us proud to be Americans.

US military help with bringing dehydrated baby to the hospital

US military help with bringing dehydrated baby to the hospital

Although most things in Latin America move slowly, the post flood cleanup and repairs began immediately and are progressing quickly.   This is the same road (below) to my house as shown above as repairs began.

The post flood road repair work started immediately

The post flood road repair work started immediately


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