When You Live On the Side of a Volcano...You Want to Make Sure It Is Still Sleeping!

in panama •  2 months ago

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Recently this photo came onto my screen on Facebook letting me know that my town would be having a talk about the current state of our volcano. You see, we live on the old lava flows from an eruption 500 years ago or so. Because of that, we all want to know if Baru still sleeps...and for how much longer he will likely do that!

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There was actually a really good crowd of gringos and Panamanians in attendance for this, our first, weekly community talk (although not pictured). It was led by a local man who calls himself a citizen scientist. He studied in the States and is fluent in English and Spanish, so the talk was held in both. He had a lot of great information about the volcano and what we would notice leading up to an eruption, if one is to happen in the future.

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You see, we live right there, where that little arrow is on the map. Yep, the part where the volcano previously had a large lava flow. The speaker, however, believes that this time, there will just be a lot of ash spewed up into the air that will rain down like concrete and cover the entire area. BUT we should be able to have a little notice before anything happens...a few months or so. He said the earthquakes would increase, if Baru decides to become active again. Sleep on, Baru. Sleep on.

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Being able to track these earthquakes is a great reason to have your own, personal, teenie tiny seismograph! We were even able to hold one that was passed around which was about the size of a sandwich. The presenter is the builder of these earthquake measuring devices and there are about 5 people in our town who have one installed in their homes.

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These seismographs will collect data (and are sold all over the world) and send it to a central location where the information is deciphered. Was that a truck that drove by or was it a small earthquake? The person who reads the data is able to determine this and help the people in the community know what the volcano is up to. Are there the same number of earthquakes or are they increasing? I'm glad that there are people monitoring the volcano that closely in our town!

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These personal seismographs, called a Raspberry Shake, are also for sale! There were quite a few people at the talk who were interested in buying one. He even said that it was not necessary to have a special building or location built for them. They also had a map of people who owned a Raspberry Shake all over the world! Be sure to check him out if you're interested in buying your own seismograph for your home or town!



Are you interested in visiting Panama to learn more about moving here? Check out Panama Relocation Tours if so. This tour will take you to many cities in the area where expats have settled and introduce you to many helpful people. Each tour is 5 nights and 6 days across the entire country (and you get to meet me)! The December Panama Relocation Tour is currently 10% off!
(We don't all live on the side of a volcano here in Panama, by the way...)

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Now I want a seismograph...

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Lol. Me too. We've had 33 earthquakes in the last 24 hours! We've only felt 2 of them, but the seismographs have picked up the others (we don't have one - just reports from facebook). Last night was a 6.1 about 30 miles from us!

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Ok I have to ask, is that seismograph making you paranoid, or is it just collecting interesting information?

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I didn't buy one, but this company that sells them here keeps sharing some info on facebook to gather some interest to sell more. I do not plan to get one. It would probably make me super paranoid!!

That is so cool, I dont need one here, but back in NZ they would be so cool to have

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Yeah, they were pretty cool and a good thing to have. We actually had a bigger earthquake last night and a ton of little aftershocks today. If I had one of those seismographs, I could post a pic of what we've seen going on (although we only felt two of them). They said we've had 30 in 24 hours!

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@apanamamama Well I hope they quieten down soon

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You and me both! ;)

When I lived in Indonesia I was more concerned about volcanoes and earthquakes. I am glad that you have resources that help you prepare for natural disasters like this.

I checked out the Relocation Tour Website. What a great service! I don't feel called to live in Panama right now, but something in my heart got excited bout living overseas again.

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Thanks for checking out the link! The tour is really good and everyone loves it. For the most part, people who come end up moving here (at least people who go on the tour). :)
Having to worry about volcanoes and earthquakes is a different feeling. ;) We had a 6.1 last night about 30 miles from us and many aftershocks since then!!

i guess the recent eruption a few months ago in Guatemala has people thinking and paying a little closer attention to these sleeping giants. Pretty cool to have your own seismograph, amazing how small it is but actually works,

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Yes, the seismographs are pretty awesome and super small! I was amazed too! We had an earthquake last night that USGS picked up and we've had 30 since then that it hasn't picked up, but the small ones have. The one last night was a 6.1! Yeah, I think they're paying attention to ours because it's been somewhere between 400-500 years since it erupted last time and they are saying it's within its usual time to erupt again. Some people say it could happen and some say it won't happen in ours or our children's lifetimes. Only God knows when it really will!!

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Damn, that is some real hot bed of activity for sure, I wish I only erupted every four or five hundred years instead of weeks.
It will happen when it happens but one thing is certain, for everyday it doesn't erupt it means you are one day closer to the day that it does.

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Very true. We're just hopeful that the poison gas and ash is taken the other direction by the wind...I mean...we won't be here hopefully at that point.

Raspberry shake, that's funny! When there is a storm here or flooding or tornado warnings, I remind my children "at least we don't have to worry about volcanoes." It's good to remember that there are families that should be aware of the possibility of volcano eruptions! I hope that mountain next door stays very, very quiet.

If signs of an eruption appeared, I'm not sure anyone would be willing to purchase your property. Where would you go?

@ironshield

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Yeah, I doubt the land or houses would be of much worth if there were some type of eruption. I don't know what happened to all those properties on the Hawaiian islands after they were covered. It's not something that we've ever discussed and hopefully we won't have to deal with Baru waking up. We have been told that we'd receive some notice before an eruption and hopefully that is the case. Talk about leaving it all up to God!
That's funny that you say that to your kids. We don't have to worry about flooding, tornadoes, or hurricanes here thankfully. But we've got earthquakes and volcanoes. ;) Ha!

How cool! Great that they are keeping an eye on it!
Seems like volcanic activity is increasing around the globe...

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Yes, the Ring of Fire is lighting up! We are hopeful that ours will stay asleep!!

Man, earthquakes is what kept me up at night when I lived in Tokyo. I just couldn't get used to it. At work all expats would excitedly be talking about that HUUUUGE earthquake that night while locals would look at us with puzzled faces. 'Earthquake? What earthquake? Oh, that one...Meh...' But a volcano is a totally different dimension to me. I wouldn't move to California because of the possibility of earthquakes, but I dreamed of living in Hawaii in spite of the volcanoes...They scare me and intrigue me at the same time. Just like hurricanes... I know, I'm a weirdo LOL. But living on the side of a volcano...Hmmmm, I'd have to think that over a few times.

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Lol! Yes, living on the side of the volcano is kind of crazy... Let's blame it on my husband for picking this area. I used to live in California and have been through quite a few earthquakes. We had one last night here that was 6.1 about 30 miles from us. It shook pretty well and then we've had something like 30 aftershocks since then! The tiny seismographs have picked up all of them even though we've only felt 2 or so. Not a fun feeling and we're hoping they end soon!!

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yes, I can only imagine. I LOVED California, but those earthquakes and the chance to HUGE ones kinda always kept me on edge there.

When I used to live on the opposite side of Baru, I shared your concerned. I had asked most of the people that lived there and search for more recent data on the sleeping giant. I had stumbled upon a study made by an American on the volcano's in Central America who was saying that the Costa Rican volcano Arenal would be the one to keep an eye on, as it is active and not that far from Panama.
I am glad to hear that you are taking precautions s and got yourself a device collection data on all the smaller earthquakes . Be safe!

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Thanks! Yeah, that does make sense to keep an eye on Arenal. It's been active for years. We honeymooned in CR 12 years ago and could see lava at night!

Keep an eye on that beast! The soil is supposed to be wonderful, so I understand the draw. A personal unit is good, but I hope it links back in, so they can use the data it collects.

Stay safe! :)

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Yes, the soil is amazing! We can grow sticks pretty much. You can drive by a fence that's been around for a while where they just planted branches from a tree, but now it's a full grown tree fence line! It's crazy. Yes, they collect data at a central point. We actually had a 6.1 earthquake last night and have had quite a few aftershocks since then. Not a super fun feeling!!

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OUCH! Earth quakes and volcanoes are NOT a good mix! You be VERY careful!
:(

Well, I hope Baru dusen't get all grumpy and start spitting ash and lava, but if he does, be sure to get a few nice photos! I'd love to get photos of an erupting volcano... from a safe distance!

... and I would probably love living in Panama, even if it was on the side of a volcano. Unfortunately, I can't afford anything right now.

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Lol - yeah it's definitely an experience living here. Well, I'd probably be too busy wrangling 5 kids to snap a pic of an exploding volcano if that were to happen. Let's just hope that it stays asleep so I don't even have to try to figure that out. ;) We had a 6.1 earthquake last night about 30 miles from us and have had 30 aftershocks since then. Yikes!!

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Oooh, that doesn't sound fun. 6.1 isn't exactly negligible, either.

Haha, I can see it. "Okay, everyone line up so I can get the exploding volcano in the background!" :-)

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In the talk we went to about the volcano, one of the slides was a lady in Guatemala taking a selfie with the volcano exploding in the background out of the back of her truck. Ha

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Epic selife! lol

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Ha ha. Yeah, something like that

Yes sleep Baru sleep!! I’m glad that their are people tracking the activity too! Wow yes you guys live close to that area where the lava striked. It is definitely important to keep informed on it.

A Panama tour is definitely something we want to do in the future. My husband is already onboard with visiting and meeting you all!! 😃😉

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That's so cool! I'd love for you guys to do a tour and meet up with us! FUN!! We sure hope that Baru keeps sleeping since he is so close! I mean, he makes a great view from our house...that's both good and bad. ;) Ha!

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I would love that too! I pray we will actually get to do that! 😊

Haaaa yes it’s bitter sweet!!

Cool! That Raspberry Shake looks like it is built around the Raspberry Pi! That is a great use for a low cost programmable computer, I have a couple lying around and I'm still thinking about what to do with them....

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Yes, now that you say that, I remember them saying something about a Raspberry Pi, but I honestly have no idea what that is! :) We had a 6.1 earthquake last night about 30 miles from where we live and it has been followed by quite a few aftershocks since then! We have felt a few of them, but the tiny seismographs have picked up over 30 of them!

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I can't imagine living at the side of a volcano. I can't Imagine the thought of thinking that it could erupt anytime. Anything that government is doing to help the people staying around the area?

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Well, hopefully it doesn't erupt. Hopefully never again. ;) Or at least in my lifetime. There are different guesses on when something could happen, but we're told that we would probably get some warning. The government isn't really doing anything. The government doesn't do a very good job with trash or education, so we can't really expect them to do much about this either. ;) That's why some of the citizens have made these seismographs!