The 7.6 magnitude earthquake that shook Costa Rica Wednesday was one of the strongest to hit in years. In this regard, Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla announced there were no reports of major damage and called for calm.
Notably, the bulletins were terrifying: a powerful earthquake had struck off the coast of this Central American country, spawning a tsunami warning and bringing fears of widespread catastrophe. But Costa Rica suffered remarkably little damage from Wednesday’s magnitude-7.6 quake – a few blocked highways, some collapsed houses and one death, of a heart attack caused by fright.
Two people are reported dead – one from a heart attack and another from trauma – and at least 20 were injured as indicated by the Red Cross. Officials credited the relatively deep location of the quake and building codes that Costa Rican officials call as strict as those in California and Japan.
The quake was 25 miles (41 kilometers) below the surface. Tremors that occur deep underground tend to be less damaging, but their shaking can be felt over a wider area. In this respect, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which had at first issued a tsunami warning for the Pacific coast of most of Central and South America, has cancelled its alert.