Very strong earthquake off the coast of Panama and Costa Rica

Last update: April 2, 2014 at 4:54 pm by By

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Update 16:52 UTC : The impact of the earthquake was a little stronger than we expected. Reports now already from cracks in walls in David, panic in  various places and reports of falling products in supermarkets.

Update 16:38 UTC : This area has been shaken by even more powerful earthquakes during the recent months. Some quakes were even damaging but those were closer to the coast.
A word of Thank You to our  readers from Panama and Costa Rica. Your fast Experience Reports are a great herlp for us to determine the strength of the earthquake. You are better than seismographs :)

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 18.46.09 Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 18.46.22

This earthquake can be called harmless based on our experience of Central America earthquakes IF preliminary earthquake data will be confirmed later

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 18.33.58

286 km SE of San José, Costa Rica / pop: 335,007 / local time: 10:13:30.0 2014-04-02
47 km S of David, Panama / pop: 82,859 / local time: 11:13:30.0 2014-04-02

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2014-04-02 11:13:27

GMT/UTC Time : 2014-04-02 16:13:27

Depth (Hypocenter) : 40 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

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SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Pedregal, Panama Apr 02 16:13 6.0 31 MAP I Felt It
EMSC South Of Panama Apr 02 16:13 6.0 40 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Dominical - Weak shaking in two sessions back to back lasting about 7 seconds and then 10 seconds.
  • Heredia - The Earthquake was felt in Costa Rica too.
  • Bocas del Toro - Shook the house for about 6 seconds, seemed to stop and then shook again for about 4 seconds
  • Mata Oscura - Felt more like a rolling quake (think of a bell curve) rather than a sudden jolt. The windows rattled and ceiling squeaked a little. No damage as far as I can tell.
  • David - Yes, a couple of cracks on outside of house.
  • Bocas del Toro - We are on the third floor of a wood structure. Very noticeable. We exited to the ground floor.
  • Boqueron, Chiriqui - My whole house started shaking and the items inside were moving. I went outside and my car, the fence, the powerlines were all moving.
  • Turrialba - very mild shake, just a few seconds, no damage
  • Bocas del Toro, Panama Dolphin Bay - No damage but shook for approximately 30-40 seconds.
  • Heredia - Office building shook for a few moments.
  • Boquete - Strongest I've felt in 5 years and lasted about 20 seconds.
  • Panama City - I felt the shaking and raised immediate awareness with other members of staff next to me. At first, they did not sense it and then, stopped talking and asked them to look out for it which they did acknowledge after a few seconds. The shaking lasted for about 10 secs.
  • San Carlos - our building was swaying, lasted approx 15 seconds...
  • Palmar Sur - shaking, no visible damage
  • Punta Uva - Based on past experiences of tremors between M4 or M5 I the Seattle area, I thought this one felt more like M6. Was surprised to see it was exactly that. We felt it at. 10:14 am local time. First short wave was a strong rolling series of jolts, followed by softer jell-like jiggling motion. Saw a few monkeys moving in the tree but they didn't seem too shook up. There were some birds flying that seemed more distressed. THANKS!
  • Grecia - Costa Rica is where we are located at 4,500 ft altitude ...the shaking lasted for longer than expected....began by bouncing and ended by side to side motion. No damage but dogs were upset.
  • Cahuita - Legeres secousses, quelques secondes, la maison a un peu dansé
  • GEOFON South Of Panama Apr 02 16:13 6.0 28 MAP I Felt It


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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
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (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.
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