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Also in this section:
Coach Palumbo dies at 94
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On the road to El Valle
Panama played a big part in Ike's formation as a military officer

 

On the road to El Valle

photo by Eric Jackson

 

Many of the expatriate Americans who are coming to Panama have chosen the El Valle area for their retirement homes, but in the town itself lots on which to build are relatively rare and real estate prices are relatively (for Panama) high, so a lot of people are building new homes along the road to El Valle. Here, as the mists come down from the hills on a rainy season day, we see one of the new houses.

 

This is steep and hilly land, mostly deforested long ago, and building along the way to El Valle can present various challenges. In some places, utilities or access are the obstacles.

 

Above, we see a house  built on a steep slope. The owners hope that a concrete slab just downhill from the house will control the threat of landslides.

 

Landslides are an occasional problem in the area, and in various other parts of Panama.

 

Roberto Velásquez Abood, the head of Panama's SINAPROC disaster relief agency, told La Prensa that his agency has identified more than 500 homes at risk to landslides. (This is not the result of a complete national survey, so there are more homes on precarious hillsides than that around the country.) The two biggest concentrations of homes vulnerable to landslides, according to SINAPROC, are San Miguelito and Las Cumbres. In the latter venue some of the at-risk homes are quite luxurious.

 

One basic consideration for someone building on a slope is that a slab to shore up the hillside below may be of limited value if the drainage around the building is not properly designed and built.

 

Also in this section:
Coach Palumbo dies at 94
Pets of the week

On the road to El Valle
Panama played a big part in Ike's formation as a military officer

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