Latin America

Powerful Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake Rattles Costa Rica – EMSC

The European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) reported on Monday afternoon that a 5.3-magnitude earthquake had struck the Central American country of Costa Rica.

According to the EMSC, the quake’s epicenter lay 70 kilometers southwest of the capital of San Jose, below the country’s Pacific coast at a depth of 30 kilometers. It was initially reported as a magnitude 6.0 quake, but later revised downward in strength by the EMSC.

​According to testimonies on the EMSC website, the quake was felt as far away as Boquette, Panama, 262 kilometers east of the epicenter. One witness in Colón, just outside the capital, described it as “very strong and long,” and another person in Quepos, 53 kilometers to the southeast, described minor shaking, followed by a “sharp jolt” that then faded, all over the course of about 20 seconds.

Costa Rica is prone to earthquakes as it sits along the so-called “Pacific Rim of Fire,” named for its notorious geological activity, and close to the intersection of four major tectonic plates: the Caribbean Plate, the South American Plate, the Cocos Plate and the Nazca Plate.

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