Important historic earthquakes in Costa Rica

Last update: April 29, 2014 at 11:07 pm by By

The list of the 50 most recent earthquakes in this country can be found at the bottom of this page.

Click on this image to watch it in full size - Data courtesy NOAA Natural Hazards database

Click on this image to watch it in full size - Data courtesy NOAA Natural Hazards database

TSU = Tsunami waves was generated

Earthquake-report.com own DAMAGE OVERVIEW LISTS : 20132014
(based on our experience the most complete damage list in the world)


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Label info : M = magnitude, D = depth (km), Time = UTC time

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Sardinal, Costa Rica Mar 17 10:32 4.6 39 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Off Coast Of Costa Rica Mar 17 10:32 4.8 50 MAP I Felt It
GEOFON Off Coast Of Costa Rica Mar 17 10:32 4.8 20 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Panama-costa Rica Border Region Mar 01 01:28 3.0 18 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Off Coast Of Costa Rica Jan 30 16:20 4.7 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Off Coast Of Costa Rica Dec 24 19:12 4.6 27 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Sardinal, Costa Rica Dec 24 19:12 4.6 26 MAP I Felt It INFO
GEOFON Costa Rica Dec 01 00:25 5.3 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • San José - No damages, horizontal weak shaking for less than 5 seconds.
  • Turialba - No damage
  • Naranjo - Sitting at my computer and felt light shaking.
  • San Ramon - No damage
  • Volcan Chiriqui - shook around 7-10 seconds light - moderately. Center in Costa Rica probably 200km away from Volcan ,Panama.
  • La Suiza, Turrialba - About 8-10 seconds of light shaking, thought a wind gust hit the house at first. Unverified, but no building damage is obvious.
  • San José - Magnitud 5,3 ... Profundidad 2 Km ...Epicentro provincia de Cartago en pueblo de Capellades. Fuerte sin daños
  • EMSC Costa Rica Dec 01 00:25 5.3 5 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Cot, Costa Rica Dec 01 00:25 5.2 5 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Panama-costa Rica Border Region Oct 27 23:55 4.4 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Panama-costa Rica Border Region Oct 20 11:43 4.2 15 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Costa Rica Oct 09 08:13 4.3 15 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Costa Rica Oct 09 07:00 4.3 15 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Off Coast Of Costa Rica Oct 08 10:44 4.0 15 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Costa Rica Oct 04 11:08 4.6 20 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Off Coast Of Costa Rica Oct 02 12:19 4.1 1 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Costa Rica Sep 25 12:31 4.1 23 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Costa Rica Sep 15 09:50 4.4 4 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Off Coast Of Costa Rica Sep 13 11:13 4.1 24 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Costa Rica Sep 03 22:06 4.8 30 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • jaco - it was 3 seconds a moderate shaking
  • san jose - 4 second strong shake
  • Platanillo - No damage
  • Naranjo de Alajuela - Strong shaking lasting about 20 seconds. Windows were creaking and pictures on the walls were moving but did not fall. I was sitting at my computer and could feel the floor shifting under my feet. The floor was going one way and my chair another.
  • Tinamastes, Perez Zeledon - Shaking continued for about 10 seconds. No damage at our house, but our neighbors' picture frame shook off of a table.
  • Santa Ana - Pas dégat
  • Grecia - no property damage. shook maybe 5 seconds. husband heard it coming about 10 seconds prior.
  • San Jose - Woke up my cat.Strong shaking but no damage at all. National university says it was a 5.3 on the Richter scale.Depth:18 km, epicenter in the central pacific area located 15.4 km north of Dominical, province of Puntarenas.
  • Tres Rios - Eating at an outdoor restaurant east of San Jose. Tables and glass visibly shook. Cool experience.
  • Dominical - No damage, just a really good shake.
  • GEOFON Costa Rica Sep 03 22:06 4.7 44 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS San Isidro, Costa Rica Sep 03 22:06 4.7 29 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Panama-costa Rica Border Region Aug 30 15:48 4.3 18 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Ciudad Cortes, Costa Rica Aug 25 13:34 4.1 28 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Manzanillo - 6-8 seconds of light shaking, no damage
  • GEOFON Costa Rica Aug 17 16:06 4.4 13 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS San Marcos, Costa Rica Aug 17 16:06 4.6 20 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • paraiso, cartago - No damage. Felt it like a slight surge in the ocean with a tad side motion. Very mild. The animals only stopped to warily look about and then continued their business. (Cats & dogs)
  • Tinamastes, Perez Zeledon - Light shaking for 10 to 15 seconds. Our dog got agitated. No damage.
  • Atenas - Some large sliding doors may have cracked along the frames; one door will not close properly.
  • EMSC Costa Rica Aug 17 16:06 4.6 20 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Tinamastes, Perez Zeledon - Quick quake, enough to rattle the windows, but not enough to shake the bed or upset our dog.
  • GEOFON Panama-costa Rica Border Region Aug 09 06:25 4.3 12 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Corredor, Costa Rica Aug 09 06:24 4.5 11 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Panama-costa Rica Border Region Aug 09 06:24 4.5 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Roxana, Costa Rica Aug 07 06:09 4.5 17 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Costa Rica Aug 07 06:09 4.6 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Costa Rica Jul 25 00:32 4.2 9 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS San Isidro, Costa Rica Jul 25 00:32 4.2 8 MAP I Felt It INFO
    GEOFON Off Coast Of Costa Rica Jul 08 13:05 4.3 40 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Off Coast Of Costa Rica Jul 08 13:05 4.4 20 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Tilaran, Costa Rica Jul 03 02:16 5.1 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Costa Rica Jul 03 02:16 5.1 2 MAP I Felt It INFO
    GEOFON Costa Rica Jul 03 02:16 4.9 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Fortuna, Costa Rica Jul 03 01:58 5.3 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Costa Rica Jul 03 01:58 5.3 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
    GEOFON Costa Rica Jul 03 01:58 5.4 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Nueva Arenal - It felt less like shaking and more like being on a boat in rough seas.
  • Nuevo Arenal - The bed was shaking so much that I thought a dog was scratching excessively... then saw the things swinging on the walls! Exciting!
  • Sabanilla (Between Naranjo and Sarchi - In bed, could feel the bed shaking side to side. Lasted about 15 seconds.
  • Nuevo Arenal - Windows rattled, house shaked just before 7 pm local time and at 7.18 pm
  • Nuevo Arenal - Shook my chair, didn't knock anything off shelves. Really could see tables and shelves moving back and forth. Very strange but sort of amazing. Now let's put our breakables close to the floor. Hold on for dear life!!!!!!
  • Aguacate - Light fixtures moving and felt sofa moving back and forth
  • El Castillo - House shook for about 10 seconds while on Holidays
  • Nuevo Arenal - House and windows rattled just before 7 pm local time and another one 20 minutes later
  • Paraiso - Shook the house for approximately 10-15 Sec. 20 minutes later a moderate shaking of the house fo 10 seconds.
  • Playa Panama - Felt a very small shaking of our chairs and table for about 2 to 3 seconds
  • San Luis - No damage just shook the house
  • Rincon de la Vieja - Was sitting at hacienda guachapelin when we felt the shaking, noticed the table moving, and drink rack swaying
  • GEOFON Off Coast Of Costa Rica Jun 30 10:34 4.5 57 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Off Coast Of Costa Rica Jun 30 10:34 4.6 40 MAP I Felt It INFO
    GEOFON Panama-costa Rica Border Region Jun 15 18:17 4.4 27 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Puerto Armuelles - just a couple of seconds.
  • USGS Panama-costa Rica Border Region Jun 15 18:17 4.5 21 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Panama-costa Rica Border Region Jun 15 18:17 4.5 20 MAP I Felt It INFO
    GEOFON Panama-costa Rica Border Region Jun 05 21:20 4.8 35 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Canoas, Costa Rica Jun 05 21:20 4.5 23 MAP I Felt It INFO

    Data sources courtesy : USGSEMSCGFZGEONET

    SHARE YOUR EARTHQUAKE EXPERIENCE WITH US

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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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