Costa Rica earthquake : numerous landslides and considerable damage

Last update: July 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm by By

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Earthquake overview : A strong earthquake occurred in the early afternoon in the border area of Costa Rica – Nicaragua and close to the Miravalles Volcano. Although the hypocenter was at an intermediate depth, people in the epicenter area have sustained some minor damage.

Damage inflicted after the July 12 2011 Costa Rica earthquakes.

UPDATE 13/07 – 14:54 UTC : A number of houses have been labeled inhabitable by the Costa Rican emergency services.

UPDATE 13/07 – 14:31 UTC : Just after the earthquake, villagers living near the Río Guacalito at Armenias de Upala were surprised that the river was suddenly dry! Villagers believe that a dam was created on the slopes of of the Miravalles volcano which dried up the river.

UPDATE 13/07 – 09:46 UTC : Due to various signs of damage and traumatized people we have upgraded this earthquake to the CatDat Orange category.

UPDATE 13/07 – 09:24 UTC : As you can see on the picture at right (screen-shot from a Vivo 7 video) , the earthquake did cause serious shaking. People who live in earthquake rich countries will confirm that the shaking must be serious to sustain this king of damage. Click on the picture for the link to the (Spanish spoken) Vivo 7 video.

UPDATE 13/07 – 09:09 UTC : Due to the torrential rains, authorities are warning drivers to be careful because of an increased landslide risk. Authorities will overfly the epicenter area (weather permitting)  in the morning of July 13 to find out whether there are traces of landslides.

UPDATE 13/07 – 08:59 UTC : The earthquake was felt strongly in the Central Valley.
Mobile phones stopped working
for minutes after the earthquake  (the same happened on May 13 2011 with a deep M 6.0 earthquake near San Jose – Earthquake Report).
Electricity was cut for several minutes in the greater epicenter area.
Local sources report that 10 people were carried to hospitals with “nervous breakdowns”.

Greenish area has experienced most of the shaking - image courtesy USGS

OVERVIEW UPDATE : This M5.5 earthquake at 39km depth caused objects to fall in San Juan de Guatuso, Aguas Claras, Las Armenias, San Isidro and Bijagua de Upala.
There were two damaged houses in Guacalito de Las Armenias.
In Aguas Claras and Puente Río Negro, there was some minor structural damage i.e. cracks to walls etc., but nothing major.
Following the local Costa Rican seismological service a local shallow fault was the main reason why the villagers sustained some damage.

A M5.1 aftershock followed.

A strong earthquake occurred in the early afternoon in the border area of Costa Rica – Nicaragua and close to the Miravalles Volcano. Although the hypocenter was at an intermediate depth, people in the epicenter area have sustained some minor damage.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 5.5 Mw (GFZ), 5.6Mw (USGS)
UTC Time : 2011-07-12 20:11:06.4 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 02:11:08 PM
Depth (Hypocenter) : 39 km (84.96°W 10.96°N – epicenter) , 62.4km (USGS)
Geo-location(s) :
46 km (28 miles) ENE of Liberia, Costa Rica
46 km (28 miles) SW of San Carlos, Nicaragua
139 km (86 miles) NW of SAN JOSE, Costa Rica
1794 km (1114 miles) ESE of MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico

F-E Region: Costa Rica

Mw 5.5
Time: 2011-07-12 20:11:06.4 UTC
Magnitude: 5.5 (Mw)
Epicenter: 84.96°W 10.96°N
Depth: 39 km
Status: M – manually revised

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
USGS historic earthquakes map
USGS Seismic hazard map
USGS Impact on Population map
USGS Shaking map

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I did feel it – Ik heb het gevoeld – Το έκανα αισθάνεται – Yo lo siento – 我的确感到了 – 私はそれを感じていました- Ich habe es gefühlt – Bunu hissediyorum yaptı – لم أشعر أنه

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