Earthquake in the coastal Jaco area, Costa Rica

Last update: January 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm by By

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Update 21:12 UTC : Preliminary Magnitude 5.1 at a depth of 21 km (has to be confirmed)
Update 21:16 UTC : Geofon is reporting a depth of 48 km which is better than the initial depth of 21 km
Update 21:22 UTC : OVSICORI reports a M5.3 Magnitude, 21 km depth and 26 km from Jaco
Update 21:31 UTC : USGS is now reporting a depth of 18 km only, which makes this earthquake moderately dangerous for landslides and minor damge and injuries. Epicenter right below the coastal stretch

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 00.21.39

Epicenter based on the OVSICORI latest report – Offshore while other agencies reported the epicenter on the shoreline – The Ovsicori epicenter is far less dangerous than earlier reports.

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 00.22.33

21km (13mi) W of Jaco, Costa Rica
37km (23mi) S of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
38km (24mi) S of Chacarita, Costa Rica
43km (27mi) SSW of Esparza, Costa Rica
87km (54mi) WSW of San Jose, Costa Rica

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.2

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2014-01-17 15:02:45

GMT/UTC Time : 2014-01-17 21:02:45

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 30 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

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Click on the “I Felt It” button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
GEOFON Costa Rica Jan 17 21:02 5.2 24 MAP I Felt It
  • Samara - My friend noticed it for all I knew it could have been a truck driving by. But there were definitely a few noticeable shakes that many of us noticed.
  • EMSC Costa Rica Jan 17 21:02 5.2 30 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Lagunilla, Heredia - 4th Floor. It was not that strong but was long
  • Playa Samara - It was only a 10-15 second shake.
  • Montezuma - Strong but short shake. Felt deep.
  • San Jose - light tremmors
  • Atenas - a slight jolt
  • Vuelta de Jorco - Se sintio fuerte y largo
  • Montezuma - Big strong jolt.
  • playa hermosa - no damage, definite quake
  • Mal Pais - Very quick, strong shake.
  • Quepos - I was watching a movie and we felt a small shake it was likely a 4 or less still waiting to here
  • Jaco - Inside condo, concrete construction, first floor. About 15-20 second rolling shaking. Waves appeared larger than usual for a few minutes, up to about 2m.
  • Jaco - no damage
  • Montezuma - Courte durée
  • Atenas - No property damage.
  • Playa Coytote - Outside on tile patio, concrete slab. 15-20 seconds moderate shaking, patio and roof/cover structure moving visibly.
  • USGS Jaco, Costa Rica Jan 17 21:02 5.2 16 MAP I Felt It
  • Jaco - No damage that I know. Just doors rattling and pictures shaking. This is the third one I have experienced here and the strongest and longest.
  • Playa Hermosa - Felt 2 big shakes
  • Jaco - At a hotel in Playa Hermosa, bed and everything else in room shook lightly for a second or two than a stronger shake for 4-5 seconds.
  • Los Sueños - Rumbling as if large truck went by followed by one large jolt. Not too long. About three or four seconds for entire experience.

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    Country where you felt the earthquake
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    Write your experience below + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage) or if you have knowledge of any damage caused by this earthquake. (max. 500 characters)

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