Bidding Gets Under Way to Rebuild Earthquake-Shattered Town

September 14, 2010

Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) will host the first bidding session Tuesday with construction companies interested in building Nueva Cinchona in Cariblanco de Alajuela, northwest of San José. The original Chinchona, a mountain town north of San José on the slopes of the Póas Volcano, was destroyed by an earthquake on Jan. 8, 2009.

The company selected will be responsible for building 93 houses, each measuring roughly 54 square meters and occupying a 300-500 square meter lot. The houses will have a living room and a kitchen, a dinning room, one bathroom, a laundry room and from one to three bedrooms.

Nueva Cinchona is a 600-hectare plot of land located roughly six miles from the site of the original town. It will be home to 93 families whose houses were destroyed by the magnitude 6.3 earthquake, which claimed 30 lives and forced 3,000 people to evacuate.

On Saturday, the affected families selected the site for their new houses in Nueva Cinchona and established a neighborhood association during a meeting with officials from the CNE, the Health Ministry and the Ombudswoman’s office.

The CNE bought the land in 2009 for ₡ 570 million (roughly $1 million at the time). The commission has created a website where the public can view the plans for the new neighborhood and follow updates on its progress: www.cne.go.cr/cinchona

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