Horrified Employees Recall Costa Rica Earthquake

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/09/2009

More than 1000 people may be stranded in a popular Costa Rican tourist destination following Thursday's magnitude 6.1 earthquake, according to reports in the Tico Times.  The country's tourism institute is claiming that number is closer to 300.  The majority of people were said to be trapped at or near the La Paz Waterfall Gardens Hotel, a luxury resort in Vara Blanca.

Further from the epicenter, in San Jose, sportsbook and poker company employees recounted their experiences during the mid-afternoon quake.  Costa Rica is home to the largest number of online sportsbook and poker companies in the world.

"Where we are it was truly scary," said Shaun, an employee of Action Poker, which runs such brands as PayNoRake.com.  He described a scene of employees fleeing and ducking under their desks.  "People were screaming."

Bob, an industry consultant, described how expensive Mac laptops went flying off desks.

"We almost lost a $3,000 Mac, brand new, when one of our guys literally caught it flying off his desk."

Bob relayed that there was minimal damage at his home, though running hot water was not readily available.

Other sportsbook employees provided descriptions of television sets being knocked off of walls.  Thursday was an especially busy day at the sportsbooks with the BCS Championship game being played out that night.  Very few service interruptions were reported. 

The official count of confirmed deaths grew to 15 Friday afternoon, one day after the worst earthquake in years shook north central Costa Rica, a government emergency official said.

Reinaldo Carballo, a spokesman for the federal Commission for National Emergencies, said the updated death toll came from information given to the agency by Costa Rica Vice President Rodrigo Arias.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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