Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Major Earthquake Hits Costa Rica (Updated)

A powerful earthquake hit Costa Rica at approximately 8:42 am local time today.

The epicenter of the 7.6-magnitude earthquake was around the town of Liberia located near the northern border with Nicaragua and approximately ninety miles from the Costa Rican capital of San Jose. The tremor was felt throughout Costa Rica and other parts of Central America.

As a result of the earthquake a tsunami alert was initially issued for several Latin American countries along the Pacific coast. As it currently stands a tsunami warning remains in effect for Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

BBC News has cited "Costa Rican authorities" who claimed that "power and communications in much of the country were briefly knocked out". Nevertheless, the Red Cross has reportedly said that no major damage or fatailities have resulted from the quake.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, over the past forty years about thirty tremors of at least 6.0-magntude have hit the area within 180 miles of the epicenter of today's quake. None of these tremors (including two above 7.0-magnitude) have led to any deaths.

On August 26th a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of El Salvador followed by a strong aftershock the next day. A tsunami alert was issued for Central America and Mexico but it was later rescinded.

(Note: Update after the page break).

Update: At least two people have died as a result of this morning's major earthquake that struck Costa Rica according to the Red Cross.
Both of the deceased were reportedly over the age of fifty, residents of the northwestern town of Filadelfia de Guanacaste and who apparently died due to heart attacks.  

Costa Rican authorities have reported that dozens of aftershocks have hit the country since the main 7.6-magnitude quake occurred.

Costa Rican President Luara Chinchilla tweeted that "geologists and oceanographers from the CNE discarded the risk of a tsunami affecting coastal residents."  Furthermore, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled the tsunami alert for Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.  

Online Sources (including Update) - Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, U.S. Geological Survey, BBC News, MSNBC, CBS News, Europa Press, La Nacion, Twitter

Video Source - YouTube via user Damian Arroyo

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