SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA – September 19th, 2012 – The government presented its official estimate of damages resulting from the 7.6 earthquake that occurred in Nicoya on September 5th. According to the government, total damages are more than 22 billion colones (about $44 million USD) and includes damages sustained by the country’s road, health, and residential infrastructure.
President Laura Chinchilla said that half of the losses were sustained by the nation’s healthcare infrastructure. As a result, Chinchilla is announcing an emergency decree, which will be presented before Monday, in order to speed the government’s response in rebuilding after the quake.
The emergency decree will allow government institutions to legally transfer funds in an expedited manner in order to attend to the situation.
Chinchilla also announced that the “Fuerza Costa Rica” campaign will be extended for an additional week. This is the campaign that is asking for donations from the public. It has only collected some 200 million colones (about $400,000) of the nearly 3 billion that were expected to be raised from the campaign.
She said that the government would review various means by which its various ministries and agencies can cooperate. She also clarified that part of the $8 million donated by the Republic of China may be used to build modular classrooms in the educational centers which have been affected most, as well as for the purchase of first aid medical equipment.
However, she stated that the majority of China’s donation would be used for the National School of Police.
The major areas of damage mentioned by the president are 15 national highway routes, 38 bridges with problems, 40 sewage systems, 31 public buildings, 62 educational centers, 33 health centers (clinics, EBAIS and hospitals), and 1,990 residential homes affected.