Crowds of people ran out of homes and workplaces into the streets during the Costa Rica earthquake on Wednesday, searching for loved ones and a safe place to wait it out. The 7.6-magnitude quake did not cause the same sort of damage it could have in other places, largely due to the country's switch to building with steel and concrete, rather than the traditional adobe and mud, as reported in TIME.
In fact, only one man died during the earthquake, which was felt as far away as Panama and Nicaragua. But this man died of a heart attack probably caused by fright, says the Red Cross. The low injury toll of 20 shows that the country was ready for the quake. Others could probably learn from Costa Rica's approach.
This Central American region lies on a fault line and is riddled with volcanoes, so it's no surprise that they would have learned to react appropriately to earthquakes. With structural codes being updated regularly to ensure safety, the latest designs and technologies keep people ready for a Costa Rica earthquake, and good alarm systems keep people informed so that they can react when the time comes.