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  • 5.0 Quake Hits Masachapa, Nicaragua
  • An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale jolted 76km SW of Masachapa, Nicaragua at 19:06:04 GMT on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

    The epicenter, with a depth of 48.65 km, was initially determined to be at 11.2803 degrees north latitude and 86.9982 degrees west longitude.

    What to do after an earthquake

    • Expect aftershocks hours, days, or weeks after the main quake. Aftershocks can cause building damage and falling debris that could injure you.
    • Avoid open flames in damaged buildings. Earthquakes can damage gas lines, so don’t use lighters or matches.
    • If you live near the coast, stay away from the beach. Earthquakes can cause dangerous tsunamis and flooding.
    • Drive carefully and plan alternative routes. Structural damage and traffic light outages may make it difficult to get to your destination.

    Sunday, January 21, 2018

  • Nicaragua’s Earthquakes
  • Yes, there are earthquakes in Nicaragua, but generally, they are small ones. In general, the earthquakes that experienced in Nicaragua are so weak that they do not have any effect.

    But there have some that have been notable earthquakes in the history of Nicaragua, devastating quakes resulting in hundreds of deaths and destruction in the millions of dollars, that include the following:

    2000 Earthquake

    The 2000 Nicaragua earthquake occurred at 19:30 UTC on July 6. It had a magnitude of 5.4 on the moment magnitude scale and caused 7 deaths and 42 injuries. 357 houses were destroyed and 1,130 others were damaged in the earthquake.

    The earthquake was preceded by a magnitude 2.0 foreshock, occurring one minute earlier. The mainshock was followed by many aftershocks, including a magnitude 5.2 event on July 7.

    1992 Earthquake

    The 1992 Nicaragua earthquake occurred off the coast of Nicaragua at 6:16 p.m. on September 2. Some damage was also reported in Costa Rica. At least 116 people were killed and several more were injured. The quake was located in an active zone of stress and deformation. It created tsunamis disproportionately large for its surface wave magnitude.

    The first shock of the earthquake occurred at 0:16 GMT and was followed by several strong aftershocks. The quake was most widely felt in the Chinandega and León departments of Nicaragua, though it was also felt elsewhere in Nicaragua at El Crucero, Managua and San Marcos and at San José in Costa Rica. It was the strongest seismic event to hit Nicaragua since the earthquake of 1972.

    At least 116 people were killed, most being children sleeping in their beds, with more than 68 missing and over 13,500 left homeless in Nicaragua. At least 1,300 houses and 185 fishing boats were destroyed along the west coast of Nicaragua.Total damage in Nicaragua was estimated at between 20 and 30 million U.S. dollars.

    1972 Earthquake

    Nicaragua Earthquakes December 1972, Managua. Central Managua, looking south. Fault D passes obliquely across the photograph and through the Central Bank which is heavily damaged. The adjacent Bank of the Americas is essentially undamaged. Many of the smaller structures that remain standing are badly damaged and will be razed. Extensive open areas in the foreground are where structures have collapsed due to the earthquake and/or fire. Much of the debris in the right foreground was already cleared away. – ID. Brown, R.D. Jr. 1 – brd00001 – U.S. Geological Survey – Public domain image

    The 1972 Nicaragua earthquake occurred at 12:29:44 a.m. local time (06:29:44 UTC) on December 23 near Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. It had a moment magnitude of 6.3 and a maximum MSK intensity of IX (Destructive). The epicenter was 28 kilometers northeast of the city centre and a depth of about 10 kilometers. The earthquake caused widespread casualties among Managua’s residents: 4,000–11,000 were killed, 20,000 were injured and over 300,000 were left homeless.

    1956 Earthquake

    The 1956 Nicaragua earthquake occurred on October 24 at 14:42 UTC. The epicenter was located west of Masachapa, Managua Department, Nicaragua. It was an earthquake of magnitude Ms 7.3, or Mw 7.2. Building damage was reported in Managua. A study of W. Montero P. shows that this earthquake might be related to the earthquake of Nicoya Peninsula on October 5, 1950. A tsunami was triggered by the earthquake.

    1931 Earthquake

    The 1931 Nicaragua earthquake devastated Nicaragua’s capital city Managua on 31 March. It had a moment magnitude of 6.1 and a maximum MSK intensity of VI (Strong). Between 1,000 and 2,450 people were killed. A major fire started and destroyed thousands of structures, burning into the next day. At least 45,000 were left homeless and losses of $35 million were recorded.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018

  • Magnitude 5.9 Quake Hits Southwest of Rivas, Nicaragua
  • The USGS has reported an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 occurring on Tuesday off the coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

    The earthquake occurred in Pacific Ocean, 79 kilometers southwest of Pacific coastal town of San Juan del Sur.

    The quake occurred at 9:03 am local time.

    According to United States Geological Survey (USGS), the epicenter of the tremor was 142 km south of the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, at a depth of 59 km.

    NOW: An 5.9 earthquake strikes near #SanJuandelSur, #Nicaragua

    — ModernTimes (@ModernTimesLB) January 16, 2018

    At first the USGS put the magnitude of the earthquake at 6.0 but later it revised it.

    There are no reports of injuries or damage at this point, and no tsunami threat was announced. According to reports some electrical poles in Managua have fallen.

    Most important  Data:

    • San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, Population: 7,790
    • Rivas, Nicaragua, Population: 30,293
    • Nandaime, Nicaragua, Population: 20,810
    • San Rafael del Sur, Nicaragua, Population: 29,836
    • Jinotepe, Nicaragua, Population: 29,507


    Tuesday, January 16, 2018

  • A Bad Case of Gas: The Community Who See Volcano as an ‘Annoying Neighbor’
  • Nicaragua is home to dozens of volcanoes, many of which belch out volcanic gases. Sputnik spoke to Dr Evgenia Ilinskaya, a vulcanologist from the University of Leeds, who has been discovering just how the gases affect nearby communities.

    AP Photo / Brynjar Gauti

    Volcanoes only hit the headlines when they erupt but some are pumping out persistent volcanic emissions (PVE) all the time and the effects can be devastating for those living nearby.

    Dr Evgenia Ilyinskaya, an academic fellow from the University of Leeds who specializes in volcanic gases and aerosols, has spent the last year investigating conditions for communities living near the Masaya volcano in Nicaragua.

    With money from the Global Challenges Research Fund — which has been given $2 billion by the UK government to research problems faced by developing countries — she set out to look at the impact of the PVE.

    “We thought that because Nicaraguans tend to be quite religious they would see the volcano as some sort of divine punishment, as it is often referred to as the entrance to Hell, but mostly talked about it as a ‘really annoying neighbor’,” said Dr. Ilyinskaya.

    Dr. Ilyinskaya, who was born in Russia but grew up in Iceland, said the volcano emitted a mixture of harmless water vapor and carbon dioxide and extremely toxic gases like sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride and acidic aerosols like sulfuric acid.

    Toxic Gases

    While many volcanoes pump such toxic gases straight up into the atmosphere, the gases from Masaya tend to stay low and are carried across Nicaragua by the prevailing winds. When it rains the nearby farmers suffer from an acidic rain which damages their crops.

    One of the villages which is most affected is Panama los Amadores.

    “There are children who suffer from asthma. The volcanic fumes go into their little lungs. They seem more affected by it, which makes them more tired,” said Freddy Aguirre, a resident of Panama los Amadores, in a short documentary Dr. Ilyinskaya’s team produced.

    “One of the things we wanted to look at was why they still lived there. It’s a fairly poor area so people do not have the means to leave, while others bought land there not realizing that the reason it was cheap was the poor agricultural quality,”  said Dr. Ilyinskaya.

    English version of the #SciComm poster we created to communicate the results of our project. The experiences local communities shared with us (left) are matched with #science observations behind them (right) #Nicaragua #volcano #vumo #GCRF

    — UNRESP project (@UNRESPproject) January 7, 2018

    The local farmers cannot grow staple crops like rice and beans but have discovered that some crops, like pineapples and dragonfruit, actually seem to be thriving in the bad air quality.

    The Masaya volcano last erupted more than 300 years ago and although visitors who venture up to the top can see lava boiling and bubbling in the crater below, there is no reason to believe a major eruption is imminent.

    But it emits gas on a daily basis.

    Similar to Volcanic Fog in Hawaii

    Dr. Ilyinskaya said the locals referred to it as smoke — humo in Spanish — but that was inaccurate as it was not smoke. She said she had coined a new term — vumo — which was starting to catch on among the locals.

    We are incredibly happy and proud to share our new documentary “Living with Volcanic Gases” – a story told by the people from El Panama community impacted by Masaya #volcano #Nicaragua @VolFilms #GCRF #SciComm

    — UNRESP project (@UNRESPproject) January 2, 2018

    She said vumo was similar to the vog — volcanic fog — which was emitted by the Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii.

    The prevailing wind in Nicaragua tends to be easterly so the vumos from the Masaya volcano usually drift over rural areas but occasionally, when the wind changes, it can head towards the city of Masaya — which sits just to the east of the volcano — or north over the capital, Managua, where far more people will be impacted.

    She said it had already been known that the vumo exacerbated the symptoms for asthma sufferers but it was not yet clear just what exactly were the long-term effects for non-asthma sufferers.

    “What we have done is identify the problem rather than prepare a public health study. For that you would need much more time and money,” said Dr. Ilyinskaya.

    Monday, January 15, 2018

  • Nicaragua Cocoa Production to Grow 25% in 2018
  • The cacao producers union is planning to produce this year close to 1,500 tons of cocoa, 25% more than the production recorded at the close of 2017.

    The cocoa available in Nicaragua is of the trinitario type that, if properly fermented, is the preferred raw material for fine and dark chocolates.

    Last year the export value went down 4%, due to unfavorable conditions in international prices, but the export volume grew by 34%, according to data from the Association of Producers and Exporters of Nicaragua (Apen).

    Guillermo Jacoby, president of the Apen, explained to “…’We went from 4.2 million kilos to 5.5 million kilos last year’.”

    “… Last year, approximately 800 tons were purchased by the German manufacturer of chocolates Ritter sport, which is located in the municipality of Sébaco, Matagalpa, where it collects the raw material. “85% of the cocoa that is exported with differentiated prices comes from our organizations. We have several organizations that export, such as Campesina and Cacaonica, and others with smaller volumes”, he said. reports that “…The main cocoa producing areas are the Triángulo Minero, Rancho Grande, Waslala, Matiguás, Paiwas, Río Blanco, El Tuma-La Dalia, Jinotega, El Rama, Muelle de los Bueyes, Nueva Guinea, Río San Juan, as well as Cárdenas and Colon. These are the geographic areas where the more than 4,000 members of Canicacao are present, however it is estimated that there are about 10,000 producers working in this sector throughout the country.”

    The cocoa available in Nicaragua is of the trinitario type. The Trinitario is widely renowned as the world’s finest cocoa, having its origins from Trinidad, a hybrid between Criollo and Forastero varieties. It is considered to be of much higher quality than Forastero, has higher yields, and is more resistant to disease than Criollo.

    Tuesday, January 09, 2018

  • With US Sanctions Looming, Nicaragua’s Economy Posed for Difficult 2018
  • It could be a long 2018 for Nicaragua and President Daniel Ortega. The country’s economy may slow down significantly should the United States decide to issue sanctions, and internal financial problems threaten its stability as well.

    Nicaragua grew in recent years by as much as five percentage points, but the threat of sanctions from the US government have already begun to make a difference for the worst, as 2017 closed with an economic growth of only 4.5 percent, according to the economist Néstor Avendaño.

    The Central Bank of Nicaragua originally estimated that the country would grow between 4.7 percent and 5.2 percent, but 2017 closed lower than expected.

    Meanwhile, the Nica Act —a law that would implement economic sanctions against Daniel Ortega’s regime — continues to move through the US Congress. The legislation intends to punish individuals with links to corruption or who are suspected of violating human rights.

    That makes 2018 a complex year full of serious economic obstacles, especially with uncertain investors who may not be willing to put money into the private sector.

    “When there is distrust in an economy, a large part of the flow of foreign investment is paralyzed,” Coordinator for the Economic Commission of Nicaragua Adolfo Acevedo. “It’s very risky to say at this moment, but I think there may be a lack of investment that will generate less economic growth, more unemployment, and more uncertainty. Remember that in times of crisis, both investors and consumers save, leading to a decline in domestic consumption and purchasing.”

    Nicaragua continues to lose its strongest investors due to the authoritarianism of Daniel Ortega’s regime, as well as the scandals that the Donald Trump administration has brought to light regarding commercial ties with Venezuela. It’s set a bad precedent ahead of a vote for the Nica Acta, which could cause foreign and domestic capital to shift into other territories.


    Source: PanamPost

    Friday, January 05, 2018

  • Nicaragua: One Of The Best Destinations For a Sunny and Warm January
  • A country that is looking to get it’s share of the Central American tourist business is Nicaragua. Tourism in Nicaragua has grown considerably recently, and it is now the second largest industry in the nation.

    In the heart of Central America, Nicaragua truly deserves the descriptive nickname of “The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.” Visitors to Nicaragua are able to enjoy the natural beauty of dozens of volcanoes, rivers, and lakes, as well as two oceans.

    Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country.

    The results for Nicaragua’s tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming one million tourists in a calendar year for the first time in its history in 2010. In 2013, more than 1.2 million tourists visited Nicaragua, representing an increase of nearly a third from 2009. More than 1.5 million tourists visited Nicaragua in 2017.

    Nicaragua has been overshadowed by its neighbor, Costa Rica, but a boom in tourism may push this under-the-radar destination into the spotlight.

    But don’t think of Nicaragua as the new Costa Rica, think of it as the new Nicaragua. Long overlooked by leisure travelers, the second-poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere is on the brink of a tourism boom, offering massivae attractions such as: volcanoes, surfing, centuries-old colonial architecture and a warm-hearted people.

    Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America with an area of 130,373km² and contains the largest freshwater body in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua (Lake Nicaragua) or Cocibolca. It has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea, in the east, and the North Pacific Ocean, in the west.


    Hot in the lowlands, cooler in highlands, with occasional rainbow features. The weather during the dry months (November-April) can be very hot in the Pacific lowlands. Torrential downpours in the rainy season (May-October) can leave you soaked and chilly, even in the Pacific lowlands when it’s cloudy, so be prepared if you’re travelling during those months. Also be prepared for cooler, cloudier weather in mountainous regions. The Atlantic coast sees an occasional hurricane each season. In the past, these hurricanes have inflicted a lot of damage


    There are about 5.6 million Nicaragüenses (Nicaraguans) in Nicaragua. The majority of the population is mestizo and white. Nicaraguan culture has strong folklore, music and religious traditions, deeply influenced by European culture but enriched with Amerindian sounds and flavours. The main language is Spanish, which is spoken by about 90% of the population.


    More tour operators in Nicaragua. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of tourism companies grew by 47%, and in the same period, the number of transport companies and travel operators increased by 320% and 160%, respectively. In 2010 the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute counted 62 businesses dedicated to providing travel organization services, and last year, this figure reached 161, thanks to the growth experienced in tourism in the country.

    Tourists visit for the beauty and richness the country has to offer. With growing eco-tourism, world class beaches, colonial cities, nightlife and reasonable prices, Nicaragua is experiencing an increasing number of tourists from around the world. There is much to see and do in Nicaragua, and it is still a budget travel paradise. The tourist infrastructure has kept pace with this growth and visitors will find a variety of attractions, accommodations and restaurants to fit different plans and lifestyles.

    Visit this increasingly popular tourist destination before it becomes a hotspot.

    The official Nicaragua Tourism Portal

    Wednesday, January 03, 2018

  • Nicaragua 2018 Economic Outlook
  • The Central Bank of Nicaragua forecasts that by the end of 2017 the economy will have grown by between 4.7% and 5.2%, and next year the increase will be between 4.5% and 5%.

    From a report by the Central Bank:

    The President of the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN), Cro. Ovidio Reyes R., presented a general balance of the State of the Nicaraguan Economy during 2017 and the Perspectives for 2018, highlighting that it is estimated that for the current year there will be robust economic growth between 4.7% and 5.2% and inflation between 5% and 6%. The projected economic growth is similar to that of the last 7 years, in which the rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has averaged 5.2%.

    For 2018, GDP growth is estimated between 4.5 and 5% and inflation between 5.5 and 6.5%. The main macroeconomic risks are the stability and variations in the prices of primary export goods, the change in trade policies, the rise in international interest rates and extreme weather events.

    See full report (in Spanish).

    Saturday, December 23, 2017

  • Judges in Nicaragua learn to see the world through the eyes of vulnerable women
  • ESTELI, Nicaragua – At only 19, Michelle Zeledón, from the north of Nicaragua, has been through a lot. She watched her father beat her mother, and endured years of his verbal abuse.

    District family court judge Yorlin Matamoro has received a UNFPA-supported master’s degree in gender equality and human rights. © UNFPA Nicaragua/Joaquín Zuñiga

    “One time, during the Holy Week, my dad tried to kill my mother,” she told UNFPA. When she became pregnant at age 15, he cut off all support.

    She took a job in a tobacco company, where she works from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm to support her daughter, now 4 years old.

    Her mother, Mayra Cabrera, sued for financial support, but her father refused to pay.

    Michelle Zeledón and her daughter. Michelle is determined to stay in school. © UNFPA Nicaragua/Joaquín Zuñiga

    “He then countersued my daughter to avoid paying child support and cut her off, claiming he no longer had a relationship with her because she had become pregnant and had a baby,” said Ms. Cabrera.

    “That sent me into a depression,” Michelle told UNFPA. But she refused to give up. “I finally decided I had to get back on my feet for my daughter and I shouldn’t back off, so I went back to school.”

    Finding justice

    Withholding financial support is considered economic violence; it can result in severe deprivation and desperation. Alba Luz Ramos, President of the Supreme Court of Justice, described it as “one of the most frequent forms of violence.”

    “What we see is that men have a tradition here of not giving food to their children, and it is their obligation,” she said. Under article 316 of Nicaragua’s Family Code, underage children are entitled to support – up to age 21 if they are in school.

    Michelle’s case made its way through the court system.

    Eventually it landed before Yorlin Matamoro, a district family court judge in Estelí. She ruled in Michelle’s favour.

    “I weighed the elements of the case, but always with a focus on the adolescent girl, because the fact that she is a mother doesn’t mean she is not entitled to child support from her father,” she said.

    “It is important to reduce discrimination against women and, in this case, I found there was a clear attempt to limit a mother’s right,” Judge Matamoro added.

    Judges, magistrates and legal advisers graduate from the the master’s degree programme in Law and Human Development from a Gender Perspective in Civil Law. © Francisco Escobar/CSJ.

    An education for judges

    Not long ago, a judge might have felt differently.

    Violence against women and girls is tragically commonplace. In Nicaragua, nearly 40 per cent of women have experienced violence from a partner or ex-partner, according to a 2011-2012 survey.

    Yet in this country and elsewhere, women and girls are blamed for their own vulnerabilities – and even their own victimization. Girls who become pregnant are often thrown out of the home or economically abandoned, as Michelle was.

    But a legal education programme is working to change these attitudes among those with power: judges, magistrates and legal advisers.

    Yorlin Matamoro was one of more than 100 judicial professionals to graduate from a master’s degree programme in Law and Human Development from a Gender Perspective in Civil Law, part of the specialized ongoing education programme.

    The UNFPA-supported programme offers an innovative educational experience, bringing in human rights and gender equality concepts from international instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention of Belem do Para.

    It also includes workshops that help participants explore their own experience of gender, as well as their own expectations and preconceptions. It then encourages them to share their experiences, and to analyse social issues from this perspective.

    Many graduates said the programme was eye-opening. “It facilitates a better understanding, a sincere and deep reflection,” said one participant.

    “It was a time that united us in the same feeling, with a lot of respect, solidarity,” said another.

    Experts in the justice system also say the approach is effective.

    “We know that all the participants in the programme had real introspection and experienced significant changes in their personal, relational and social lives that, without a doubt, translate into a higher level of empathy towards the users of the justice system,” said Yadira Centeno González, a magistrate and member of the Judiciary’s Gender Commission.

    Empowered to act

    The master’s degree course takes one year to complete. It includes the participation of professors from Mexico, Nicaragua and Spain.

    Graduates receive a certificate from the Institute of Public Law of the Rey Juan Carlos de España University. The university prepared the curriculum, while UNFPA provided a technical review of its content.

    Support for the programme will continue in 2018, reaching even more judges and legal professionals.

    “After the master’s degree programme, I understood that if we don’t acknowledge women’s particular circumstances, I don’t know who will,” said Judge Matamoro.

    Monday, December 18, 2017

  • Nicaragua Remittances Up 10% up to September 2017
  • In the first nine months of the year, the flow of remittances that came into the country totaled $1,138 million, registering a 10% increase compared to the same period in 2016.

    From a report by the Central Bank of Nicaragua:

    Remittances received by the Nicaraguan economy amounted to 355.6 million dollars in the third quarter of 2017, which meant a growth of 13.6 percent over the same period in 2016 (US $312.9 million), continuing the positive trend seen since 2010.

    Meanwhile, remittances represented 10.2 percent of GDP estimated for the third quarter of the year, consolidating this category as an important source of foreign currency income in Nicaragua. For its part, the flow of remittances accumulated up to the month of September 2017 stood at 1,019.6 million dollars (10.6% higher than that observed in 2016).

    In the third quarter of 2017, the US economy (53.8%) continued to figure as the main issuer of remittances to Nicaragua; followed by Costa Rica (19.4%), Spain (10.7%) and Panama (7.2%). This group of countries accounted for 91.1 percent of the total remittances received during the third quarter of 2017.

    Monday, December 18, 2017

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