Magnitude 7.6 earthquake strikes Costa Rican coast, tsunami warnings issued

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) are reporting a 7.6-Mw earthquake striking the Costa Rican coast, prompting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) to issue tsunami warnings including the following countries in the region: Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru; and a tsunami watch in Chile.

The initial alert was based upon an evaluation of the earthquake, not on confirmation that a tsunami has been generated. Later reports indicate the alert was cancelled, the PTWC having predicted that any wave would have reached Puerto Sandino in Nicaragua shortly before 16:00UTC.

The epicentre of the quake was 140 kilometres west of the Costa Rican capital, San José. A 6.1-Mw quake in January 2009, just 30km from the capital, killed at least 34 amid mudslides, falling rocks and trees. The emergency response to that earthquake included over 400 volunteers and Red Cross workers.