Hey everyone, if you’ve been following social media over the last few hours, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the earthquake that struck Costa Rica this evening. Depends on who you ask, you’ll get different magnitudes. If you ask CNN, for example, they’re saying the earthquake that hit Costa Rica was a magnitude 6.5.
Information on the most recent Costa Rica earthquake
The first thing everyone needs to know is that we are all fine down here. Your local news media has probably exaggerated this earthquake in Costa Rica beyond any rational limits. It doesn’t help either that there was a large earthquake in Mexico recently, and now everyone hears about an earthquake somewhere in Latin America, and they immediately think that the entire country has been leveled.
But that’s not the case here. Everyone stay calm, nothing is levelled, and there’s no serious damage we’re aware of currently.
Earthquake in Costa Rica was strong, but don’t panic
According to the RSN (an earthquake center run by the University of Costa Rica) the earthquake was a 6.3 on the Richter scale, and was located 19 kilometers south of Jacó in Puntarenas. That’s in the Pacific Ocean, a distance from land, which helps to lower the intensity of the seismic waves. Coincidentally the depth of the earthquake was 19 kilometers as well. That’s considered pretty close to the surface by Costa Rica standards, but still, there’s been no serious damage reported.
LIS (another seismic lab run by the University of Costa Rica) puts the magnitude at 6.4. And OVSICORI, which is the other large seismic lab in Costa Rica gives a magnitude of 6.4 as well.
So everyone’s pretty well in agreement on how strong this earthquake in Costa Rica was.
What’s the damage report?
So far no very serious damage has been reported either in the area near the epicenter (Jaco, Parrita) or in the Central Valley where the metro area is located. There’s been several reports of things falling off shelves in homes and supermarkets near the epicenter of the earthquake, and of course a lot of people ran out into the street during the event, but aside from that there are no reports of any serious damage or anyone injured during the earthquake.
Three deaths have been reported. A man and woman, aged 55 and 56, died of a heart attack shortly after the earthquake. A few hours later another man, aged 25, also died of a heart attack. Aside from those, no additional deaths or injuries are reported.
Mall San Pedro, a large shopping center in the metro area, reported a structural problem during the early hours of the night. The problem was inspected by emergency services, and no immediate danger or serious structural problem was found.
Some small landslides on the road to Jaco, drivers are advised caution if they’re moving along the coastal highways. The area near Parrita has some damage to the electrical lines, and caution is also advised if you’re moving on those roads.
No tsunami alerts are currently active for any part of the country.
There’s been several earthquake aftershocks that have been registered in the past few hours, but none have been as strong as the original event. Most of the aftershocks have been about 3 on the Richter scale.
The country’s pretty much back to normal after the event, though everyone is still keeping an eye on what happens, and emergency services are ready to respond if anyone should need help. Currently there are no requests for international assistance of any type relating to this earthquake.
Please do not call emergency services or 9-1-1 in Costa Rica unless you have an emergency. There’s no information available through emergency phone lines. For more information on the earthquake and current developments, please check Twitter and Facebook for hashtag #temblorcr.
What to expect if you’re in Costa Rica
If you’re in Costa Rica on a trip or touring, you were probably caught off guard by the earthquake. It happens, don’t worry.
For the next few hours expect a lot of news broadcasts on the topic. That’s about it. Earthquakes are pretty common in the country, and unless something serious is reported, a few hours after they occur it’s business as usual.
If your trip takes you through Jaco, Herradura, Quepos or Parrita, please wait until daylight to travel. There’s some small landslides along the way, and you don’t want to be driving in the dark.