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  1. #1
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    Default Sunday, July 17 2016 03:00 - BANG!

    You have lived here in the DR in the same general area for years.

    It's early Sunday morning July 17th. You are fast asleep. At appropriately 03:00 a 6.9 magnitude earthquake lets loose on the Cibao fault centred near La Colorada. The big shake lasts for 90 seconds and after shocks are occurring about once every 5 minutes with varying degrees of intensity. The earthquake is felt along the entire north coast from the Haitian border to Panta Cana and as far south as the outskirts of Santo Domingo. Damage along the north coast is extensive to structures, infrastructure and the natural landscape. There is lots of dust in the air from collapsing concrete. There is no electricity, flowing water from the tap, no light except for some sporadic fires and the occasional explosion of a propane tank off in the distance. You can hear people wailing in every direction.

    Highway 5 is a mess. Many sections have collapsed leaving gaping holes. In other spots, trees, electric poles, rocks and mud cover the road surface. You cannot drive more than a few miles in any direction from where you are. Puerto Plata airport is closed as the runways now have 1 foot wide cracks in them.

    You and your family appear to be ok. There is some damage to your house, there is lots of broken glass on the floor, most of your furniture is not where it was when you went to bed. Bookcases have fallen over, your pictures have fallen off the wall, most of your kitchen cabinets are now empty, the contents are all over the place.

    The after shocks continue. It is now 06:00 and the sun has just come up. Big crack in your concrete pool, all the water has drained away. There are holes in your roof, some walls are damaged to varying degrees, but the structure is still standing for the most part. Some of your neighbors have not fared so well. You can see some houses that have been reduced to pile of rubble. You know people were home in there last night. The smell of propane is in the air. Every footstep kicks up a cloud of concrete dust that has begun settling on the surface of everything. You cough a lot...

    Yes it is a disaster, yes it is bad and yes you are right in the middle of it all. This is the Dominican Republic. Help being what it may, is a few days off. The roads have to be cleared first. You are going to be on your own for awhile. What are you going to do? What can you do? What have you done to prepare for such a scenario? How are you going to handle to locals who now have unfettered access to your neighborhood and who in some cases are already asking for your assistance, while others are gathering up everything they can find? To make matters worse, on the horizon you can see rain clouds...

    In any extreme situation you probably cannot survive for more than:

    3 minutes without air
    3 hours without shelter
    3 days without water
    3 weeks without food.

    My fellow Residents, please feel free to discuss.

  2. #2
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    As I have read from your posts over the past two years you are prepared for almost everything that could and could not happen here, but for an occurrence like that you can't really prepare.

  3. #3
    Rest In Peace Lindsay
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cdn_Gringo View Post
    How are you going to handle to locals who now have unfettered access to your neighborhood and who in some cases are already asking for your assistance, while others are gathering up everything they can find? To make matters worse, on the horizon you can see rain clouds...
    What??? How are you going to handle locals??? In this scenario these "locals" will be the ones teaching you how to survive, just like they survived after major hurricanes which mean no internet, and no electricity for months. The "locals" will teach you how to cook outside (as most do in the campos) how to collect water from rivers and sterilise it (as many do). How to find and eat food without buying it wrapped in plastic from Playero. How to build a shelter. In the event of a major earthquake a crack in your pool is the least of your worries.

    Matilda

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  5. #4
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    For most people, life would go on normally.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post
    As I have read from your posts over the past two years you are prepared for almost everything that could and could not happen here, but for an occurrence like that you can't really prepare.
    Sure you can. Obviously having some water and food on hand helps. Having some money might be a good idea as there certainly will be no banks open and no credit cards accepted for a while. Not being on the last 1/8 of a tank of propane might make a bbq useful for a bit longer. If you can't stay where you live now, do you have anywhere to go, will anyone come looking for you. I bet the cellphone won't work. A cheap satellite phone can be had for a little over $300 these days.

    Just saying a little forethought can go a long way. Like those in LA, we have been told it's going to happen here someday.

  7. #6
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    Take the first plane outta here and come back once it's all fixed.

    If by any freak reason there does happen to be an earthquake at the time you mention, please find a way to post six numbers on DR1. I'll use them to play the lotto!

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matilda View Post
    What??? How are you going to handle locals??? In this scenario these "locals" will be the ones teaching you how to survive, just like they survived after major hurricanes which mean no internet, and no electricity for months. The "locals" will teach you how to cook outside (as most do in the campos) how to collect water from rivers and sterilise it (as many do). How to find and eat food without buying it wrapped in plastic from Playero. How to build a shelter. In the event of a major earthquake a crack in your pool is the least of your worries.

    Matilda
    I know how to do most of that already. I have no interest in living like that in the long term. Truth be told, after a disaster of a magnitude that will disrupt life for months, I'm out of here as quickly as is practical. I have several plans of varying costs and practicality depending on the circumstances. Some desperate people do some pretty horrendous things in times of crisis. It is perhaps a bit naive to suggest that we will be sitting by the fire roasting chicken and singing folk songs and getting along.

    The idea here was not to be confrontational but to see how long term residents see themselves getting through or getting out of a bad situation.

  9. #8
    Rest In Peace Lindsay
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    Lucky you if you have the option to get out of here. Those, like me, who live here, married to Dominicans, step kids, foster kids cannot just get up and go. The same I assume as those in New Orleans after the hurricane. You do the best you can to get through and rebuild. Those expats who have nothing to lose here, who rent rather than buy and who have no relationships with the country will probably leave. The rest will stay and help the country and the people. I think you might find that Dominicans actually help each other in times of crisis a little more than some other nationalities.

    matilda

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  11. #9
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    Actually the only thing that can really make a difference in survival is money.

    Make sure you are adequately insured.

    This is a big island and I would very much doubt the scenario you describe would be as catastrophic as you predict. It would have to be a world event earthquake to disrupt the whole country. Although there is no real building code per se, the buildings are quite well made with plenty of steel re-bar and the majority of building sand comes form rivers. As opposed to Haiti, where very little re-bar is used and most of it is corroded internally due to use of beach sand for concrete mix.

    If there was an earthquake that massive, I think the resulting tsunamis would wipe us out anyway.

  12. #10
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    My own self I have spent weeks volunteering and donating after several different hurricanes, when I had tools and was younger and could do more physical work than at present. In Komestead after Andrew We actually got arrested for selling bags of ice for $2.00 that we had paid $.99 for. Price gouging the police called it. I asked the judge when we were presented to him How much was a bag of ice a week ago "DELIVERED?" He dismissed the charges against us.But to the present: My lady's sister lives off in the jungle near Imbert and if we could get that far they probably could cook together if I could use my debit card and get pesos to buy food for everyone. I expect the banking system would be up and going quite rapidly. The moto concho guys would find their way around the holes inn the streets and be glad for the extra business.
    Der Fish

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