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Costa Rica
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Strong earthquake rattles Costa Rica, Panama overnight on Tuesday

Much of Costa Rica was awakened Tuesday night as a 6.7-magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks rattled the country.

According to national authorities, the quake had an epicenter 11 km east of Puerto Armuelles, Panama. The seismic event began at 11:23 p.m. on Tuesday.

There were no reports of major damage or fatalities in Costa Rica, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) said early Wednesday morning. No tsunami alert was issued.

Panamanian authorities also reported no major damage.

According to a CNE spokesperson, the earthquake was felt throughout nearly all of Costa Rica. Three households reported damages in Pérez Zeledón and in the Puntarenas cantons of Corredores and Osa.

President Carlos Alvarado said many locations throughout Costa Rica’s Southern Zone were without electricity following the initial tremor. The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) reported Wednesday morning that just 32 clients remained without power.

Telecommunication service was uninterrupted, ICE said.

The President and the National Emergency Commission are coordinating an evaluation of damages and next steps. CNE said it has dispatched officials to the Southern Zone and is preparing technical flights over the area.

There were dozens of aftershocks of varying intensity throughout Wednesday morning that continue to affect Costa Rica’s Southern Zone:

Authorities urged the public to call 9-1-1 for emergencies only and to follow official sources for other updates. Remain calm, and take additional precautions Wednesday — particularly if driving.

This is a developing story and has been updated. 

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