Massive damaging earthquake Costa Rica - overview update + aftershocks map

Earthquake overview : A major earthquake has struck Costa Rica - onshore with large magnitude. Tsunami Alert has been removed by CNE. There is damage in the epicentral area due to the shaking.
Tell us when you think you have felt this earthquake.
Costa Rica-only earthquake list

Keep this page open to read more details when they become available
Most recent information on top – Start of the article at the bottom

Update September 10
Our colleague Mike from Eqarchives did a great task in mapping the aftershocks of both massive Costa Rica (22) and El Salvador (173) quakes. Are they related ? Nobody seems to have a clue at this moment but both earthquakes had almost the same Magnitude and the aftershocks are overlapping each other on the map. Click on the map to use and play with the interactive scalable map.

Click on the map to watch the interactive scalable version

Update 21:40 UTC
- In Panama the earthquake caused power failures in Baru but was reestablished yesterdays afternoon, it caused also a landslide in Los Placintos and was felt in Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro with no damage reported.
- Telica volcano in Nicaragua saw a temperature increase from 200 grades Celsius to 450. The government has alerted the people living in the area

Landslide at the coast triggered by the earthquake - Image taken at the time of the earthquake - image courtesy

Overview update 21:00 UTC
CNE report Nr. 3
- 207 people are temporarily housed in 5 shelters
- 190 houses have been damaged in Guanacaste, 40 in Alajuela and 10 in Puntaneras
- 2 roads are still closed (blocked), Zarcero - San Carlos and La Colonia - Puerto Viejo. The government is evaluating the use of explosives to move the rocks from the road on the first one. The second is clocked by the collapsed steel bridge n Alajuela. The government plans to lay a bailey bridge over the river to get the road open again
- 5 bridges have been damaged in Guanacaste (3 with damaged foundations and 2 with lesser damage)
- 90% of the public services have been restored
- there are still power failures on Chira island, Cóbano and Nandayure
- 107 localities have send damage reports to CNE
- 6 aqua-ducts are no longer working (3 in Guanacaste and 3 in Puntarenas)
- 9 schools are damaged in Guanacaste (6 in Santa Cruz and 3 in Carillo)
- CCSS-Hospital in San Ramon sector has structural damage.
- Monseñor Sanabria hospital in Puntaneras was evacuated due to structural damage. (patients were transferred to other places.)
- Hospitals in Nandayure, Hojancha and Nocoya are still being evaluated.

Update 10:34 UTC : Aftershocks
There are many more aftershocks than the ones listed on the map, but these were the most important ones. Click on the image to be linked to the interactive eqarchives map. Every aftershock can be watched there with all the necessary details.

Click on this image to watch the interactive scalable map - Data set courtesy Ineter

Image courtesy @JoseCavallini

Update 06:00 UTC:
100 houses have been damaged on the península of Nicoya, Valverde Vega and Naranjo. Engineers are visiting the houses to evaluate the damage.
From the CNE Report 2:
- 107 localities have been affected.
- About 50 houses have been checked with ranging damage along with around 25 different public buildings - all with minor damage
- 200 patients have been fully evacuated from Puntarenas Hospital. The 4 other hospitals in the area are running fine.
- A full report from CNE can be read here in Spanish - CNE Partial Damage Summary - Number 2

Update 03:25 UTC:
As stated earlier yesterday, the damage could mimic that of the 1950 earthquake (the last major earthquake in the region) with improvements due to better code compliance and building practice. A major earthquake hit Nicoya on October 6, 1950 (October 5 Local) with churches and 25% of dwellings uninhabitable. Markets were ruined, pipe networks destroyed, many old houses collapsed, however again there were no recorded deaths. The quake measured also M7.7 and was about 50km in depth. It was also felt strongly in Nicaragua.

Update 03:18 UTC:
UCR - University of Costa Rica has no damage to the campuses and will return to normal today with the exception of a kindergarten where panelling from the roof displaced slightly.

Update 02:58 UTC: So why has there been so little damage in comparison to other M7.6 events?

President of the College of Engineers and Architects, Olman Vargas, believes that despite the magnitude of the earthquake damage was minimal due to the high quality of materials and construction in Costa Rica, which must meet strict seismic code since 1974. agrees. In the Worldwide Seismic code index published by James Daniell in CATDAT, Costa Rica has one of the highest values (96/100) in the world for code compliance and code quality.
Vargas said that Costa Rica has a "culture of concrete and steel", with its buildings long ceasing to be built of mud or adobe construction, as in other parts of the world and they are more susceptible to these events. All construction in Costa Rica are supervised by specialists who, according to Vargas, have compliance "with all world standards, with them being built in California and Japan."
Costa Rica is a success story with a constantly improving seismic resistant code since 1974 but also a culture of preventive measures before this time. The improvement has been produced through constant reminders of earthquakes like the Limon 1991 earthquake, unlike some other countries which wait 200 or 300 years for a devastating earthquake before reacting.

Update 02:37 UTC
- CNE still has a red alert. Only 1 indirect death is reported as yet through the heart attack. (- The Costa Rica Red Cross has reduced the number of fatalities to 1 (woman of 50 or 55 years old, depending on the source). The Red Cross could not confirm the second person who allegedly had been killed by a collapsing wall. In pure earthquake terms, the woman who perished after a heart attack, cannot be counted as a direct earthquake victim (secondary reason).)
- Over 30 people have been injured, but none severely.
- There have been over 190 aftershocks between M3 and 4.7, but this is a huge difference from the M7.6 where usually we can expect a sequence of aftershocks of at least M5, and expect a few of M6.

- As a hospital in Puntaareanas has been closed, people looking for care have to visit other nearby dispensaria
- The MOPT has started repair works on 7 closed roads
- 80% of the treated persons in hospitals had mainly "nervous breakdown" problems
- Water and Sewer Agency sent tanks to supply drinking water to the center of Puntarenas, that have had no water from 4pm to 10pm, due to the repair of damage to the distribution system. Tanks are also being sent to communities and Tilarán Bagaces whose distribution system reported a malfunction displays water being very turbid.
- Officials of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute reported a switch of 138 kilowatts in Santa Rita that supplies communities Paquera, Jicaral, Cóbano and Samara. This outage also caused water pumps, which use electricity, to stop and cause a shortage of water in these communities. As a result of this power failure also affected were the 73 radio bases which are used for mobile telephones and the Internet, of which only about 40 radio bases/towers are damaged in total.
-The collapse of an old metal railway bridge Naranjal in Sarapiqui has left isolated villagers, who will have to use a longer route to get out of their town to Guápiles.
-Falling material was reported from roads in Hojancha and Sámara, Poas and Santa Gertrudes de Grecia, and Santa Cruz and Las Vueltas.
-The CNE continues to conduct a in-depth building survey.

-The Red Cross also reported two missing in the town of Nicoya, near the epicenter of the earthquake, and it is not confirmed whether this is from the earthquake or flooding that has occurred this week.

Update 01:30 UTC: A number of great diagrams were made by LIS at UCR (University of Costa Rica) in terms of the instrumental feel of the earthquake and how it compares to past earthquakes.

The earthquake registered accelerations of nearly 0.6g, a stunning amount for the minor damage that has been seen around.

Intensity measurements at each seismic station in Costa Rica including intensity and PGA


Intensity map of around Costa Rica (LIS, UCR) - Intensity VIII being the highest expected.

Populations of the major towns near to the epicenter including distance (LIS, UCR)

How long was the earthquake felt for? For most it was around 35-65 seconds (LIS, UCR)

A comparison of earthquakes in Costa Rica in the last 20 years in terms of peak acceleration - it can be seen that the earthquake had a higher maximum acceleration per distance than any earthquake in the last 20 years. - It is fortunate that there was not more damage from the 0.5g+ recorded!

Video Update
The video below from Ivan Arroyo, shows the shaking of this earthquake at various places. The strongest shaking can be seen in the second sequence and was recorded by a security webcam in a parking lot (we guess not far away from the epicenter). Unfortunately, we have no locations from the different sequences. In some material you can see that the power goes down after a few seconds. In other video shots you do see people running outside, far more dangerous than hiding against an inner wall. A big thank you to Yvan who is specialized in chasing these sequences. They are giving a perfect idea of how long what kind of shaking lasted. In this case about 10 to 20 seconds heavy shaking in the car park. One can also see that people running away in the car park (probably workers) have a hard time to run.

Update 21:57 UTC:
- The CNE (National Emergency Comission) declared a red alert in all the country.
- So far Ovsicori has counted 170 aftershocks
- As the hospital in Puntaareanas has been closed, people looking for care have to visit other nearby dispensaria
- The Costa Rica Red Cross has reduced the number of fatalities to 1 (woman of 50 or 55 years old, depending on the source). The Red Cross could not confirm the second person who allegedly had been killed by a collapsing wall. In pure earthquake terms, the woman who perished after a heart attack, cannot be counted as a direct earthquake victim (secondary reason).
- The MOPT has started repair works on 7 closed roads
- 80% of the treated persons in hospitals had mainly "nervous breakdown" problems

Image courtesy @joseCavallini

Update 20:54 UTC
Structural damage has been reported from :
- Hacienda Ministery in San Jose
- Popular bank in San Jose
- Hospital Monseñor Sanabria, in Puntarenas
- 10 houses destroyed in Lepanto de Puntaneras

Update 20:26 UTC
- Oviscori reports 75 aftershocks of the earthquake ranging from 3 to 4.7
- The image below is from a lifted part of a road near Nicoya

Image courtesy @JoseCavallini


Image courtesy @JoseCavallini

Update 19:59 UTC
- Some neighboring countries had called a tsunami alert, not knowing exactly where the epicenter was. All these tsunami alerts have now been canceled. GDACS did calculated theoretic waves of max. 0.2 meter in many Costa Rican localities.
- Most of the damage we have seen so far is broken windows, some collapsed walls in older houses, fallen ceilings etc. Nothing as devastating as often in similar earthquakes elsewhere.
- A lot of damage in the municipal building of Nicoya, apparently all the second floor has been damaged.

Update 19:53 UTC
- RIU Guacanaste hotel has been damaged
- kids in a school were injured when the ceiling fell on them but nothing serious
- BAC Credomatic and Scotiabank are halting their services. HSBC continues to operate.

Update 19:45 UTC
- La Anexion hospital in Nicoya reports 7 injured, one of them seriously injured

Update 19:32 UTC
- The Rincon de la Vieja volcano shows new fissures probably due to the earthquake
- Today's earthquake is the second strongest one in Costa Rica as far as history logs can go back in time

Update 19:28 UTC :
- The Santa Barbara church in Santa Cruz was partially destroyed said the residents but nobody was inside when it happened
- The hospital in Puntarenas is seriously damaged from the 4th floor upwards.  The hospital carried 219 patients at the occurence of the earthquake. This has been reported by firefighters.
- 3 landslides are reported as very important. these landslides are situated in between Zancedo and Quesada

Update 19:12 UTC :
- The dikes in the Tampisque river near Filadelfia has been (seriously ?) damaged
- The church of San Nicolas de Nicoya and Quebrada Honda got fisures and cracked walls.  The Naranjo church apparently has a lot of serious damage.

Rio Tempisque close to Filadelfia - image courtesy Fabirucjis75

Update 19:05 UTC :
- Power has been restored in  San Antonio de Belén, San Juan, San Lorenzo, Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Zapote and Desamparados.
- In various hospitals (ie Mexico hospital), only patients with serious injuries are accepted. Planned surgery has been cancelled as priority is given to injured people from the earthquake

The old iron bridge over the Rio Sucio in Sarapiqui collapsed during the quake

Update 18:45 UTC :
- A lot of damage is reported from Cobana
- ICE hopes to re-establish 100% of the communications within a couple of hours
- Apart from the mainshock in Samara, 14 other important earthquakes have been recorded by state owned Ovsicori in various other parts of the country
- at least 5 roads are totally blocked because of cracks and landslides

Update 18:34 UTC :
- Many parts of the country are reporting various degrees of damage.
- The Colonial Temple in Nicoya (377 years old) did suffer a lot of damage (see image in better times)

Update 18:25 UTC :
- A second fatality has been added to the already known hearth attack victim.  A man was hit by a collapsing wall in Nicoya. Nothing could be done by the rescue services to save his live.

Update 18:19 UTC :
- Ovsicori has reported a little while ago that 25 aftershocks have been recorded the first hour after the mainshock.
- Filadelfia is considered more and more as the "most affected" location of this earthquake. Filadelfia is also the location were the 50 year old woman died from a heart attack.

Image courtesy Telenoticias7

Update 18:05 UTC :
- The last powerful earthquake in Nicoya occurred on October 6, 1950 and made a lot of damage. 25% of the houses collapsed. A lot of damage was also inflicted at the port of Puntarenas, also used for cruiseships.
- A total of approx. 28000 people will have experienced a very strong shaking today.
- Today's earthquake has been felt well in Nicaragua and in Panama

Update 17:46 UTC :
- A woman has died because of an heart attack in Filadelfia, Guanacaste

Update 17:43 UTC :
An ER reader having witnessed the earthquake in Monteverde wrote : "Sitting at desk when hit took cover under desk, hard to stand. Rolling waves lasted maybe 30-45 seconds or so, no damage just small items knocked down, pictures on walls askew. Have lived over Hayward fault in SF bay area, which is more jerky, strong jolt. This was more like waves on ocean."

The shaking can well be seen on the TeleSur live TV coverage on one of their webcams. It is unsure were the images have been recorded, but probably in San Jose, the capital. The shaking lasted fairly long. Long severe shaking (in the direct epicenter area it must have been more severe) is increasing the chance on serious damage.

Update 17:40 UTC :
- The areas close to the epicenter have NO cell phone connection (GSM) and NO electrical power. Luckily this earthquake occurred during daylight.
- GSM masts in Costa Rica continuously FAIL to keep running during earthquakes. 2 main reasons : a) masts have no battery power and/or are not anchored as earthquake resistant b) everybody starts calling.
2 simple solutions : Oblige the telecommunications company to install battery backuped masts safely anchored and cut down on speech allowing only text messages

Update 17:35 UTC :
- The football game Costa Rica - Mexico will go on like planned as the National Stadium in San Jose is not affected
- Seismologists are analyzing whether todays Nicaya peninsula earthquake was the one "to expect". Rember one of our earlier paragraphs were we wrote that the island was lifted today by 1 meter because it was pulled down during 60 years. Knowing all that, an earthquake is evident at some time, but today's science cannot predict when earthquakes will happen and how strong they will be. Today's earthquake is not a surprise but the strength of it certainly is. The lifting also suggests that today's earthquake was a subduction earthquake. Subduction earthquakes are far less dangerous than transform earthquakes, but if you are living through it, it remains horrible.

Update 17:26 UTC :
- So far we have found evidence of 20 people injured

Update 17:17 UTC :
- So far (but is far to early to be 100% sure) there are NO reports of killed or severely injured people. Keep this page open to be informed.

Update 17:16 UTC :
- The Liberia airport is reporting normal operations and no damages.  The first reports of injuries are coming in with 10 to 20 injured, but not critical patients transported to the clinic in Filadelfia, Guanacaste.  One Costa Rican woman is reported dead from a heart attack suffered during the earthquake. (source Inside Costa Rica)

Update 17:06 UTC :
- Banks : Only windows etc. are reported damaged to banks etc. but no problems with money according to most banks. Some remain closed as a precaution.
- We fear for the reported landslides (overflight). Landslides can generate a lot of victims during earthquakes.

Update 17:03 UTC :
- Supercompro Supermarkets in Nicoya, Heredia, Alajuela and Jaco, and the Orotina Hypermarket remain closed, as between 60% and 80% of the products fell from shelves. In some cases there were some fallen shelves but other than that, major structural damage was averted.
- Monsignor Sanabria Hospital, Puntarenas suffered structural damage after the quake. "After today's earthquake, some hospitals like Puntarenas is damaged and therefore the authorities are concentrated in CEDESO national command center to analyze the situation and define the actions,". According to reports the correspondent in the area, which suffered structural damage on the building ranging from the third to the seventh floor. Evacuees are on the side of road and the most serious in a rehabilitation center in front of the hospital that was not damaged. At about 10 am the Fire Department began an inspection to determine damages to the building. For now, there are visible cracks in walls, a portion of the wall collapsed on the fifth floor and damage to windows and stairs.

Update :
- Reports of the Guanacaste province are mentioning cracked streets, landslides and areas without electricity after a flight over the area.
- The gangpath that provides ferry service between Puntarenas and Paquera has some damage. There are cracks in the road about five feet before the ramp that leads to the boat, in Paquera and in addition some rockfalls.
- Meanwhile, some tourists began to leave the Pacific hotels staying at the hotel Barceló Tambor in Paquera. There are reports that some rooms were damaged. There are cracked walls and broken glass.
- There is very little damage on the roads around Costa Rica. A metal bridge however collapsed over the Sucio river in Sarapiquí.

Update : The Nicoya peninsula, where today's epicenter was located, has been lifted for more than a meter because of today's earthquake. This is normal as the peninsula was pulled down about the same amount during the last 60 years.

Update : Tourists will unmistakably have been confronted with this earthquake. Not alone is Costa Rica a touristic country, but the epicenter is close to the Palo Verde National Park

Update 16:42 UTC :
- In Nandayure, a town near the epicenter, people report that the church tower fell down.
- Nicoya has cracked streets.

UPDATE:- Classes have been cancelled in many schools. Banks and other financial institutions reported closures and service cuts following the earthquake this morning in Guanacaste.

Shaking map courtesy USGS (based on the M7.6 magnitude value)

UPDATE:- Correspondents of The Nation, Costa Rica's main newspaper reported structural damage to buildings, trade and some public works, mainly in the Guanacaste coastal region. In the capital, San Jose, there were people who evacuated the main public buildings, scenes of panic and suspension of services by temporary closure of some institutions and businesses.

In Puntarenas, a city closer to the epicenter, there is no electricity and Monsignor Sanabria hospital was evacuated for a structural review, which has visible signs of damage.

 UPDATE:- Some damage reports are coming in through twitter:- "The floor in my sister's house in Montezuma Guanacaste is lifted up". "Movistar network is down, ICE [Costa Rican Institute of Electricity] works partially."

There are reports of cut electric service, tile roofs collapsing, and damages to floors and walls. A few electricity poles are also said to have collapsed in various locations around Costa Rica, including San Jose.

Two minor injuries in the Barceló Tambor, during the strong earthquake this morning, was reported by the Mayor of Paquera, Alcides Gonzalez.

UPDATE:-  Costa Rica - Hotel Punta Islita - has reported no damage, near the beach of Samara. 

UPDATE:- The CNE is meeting at the moment. (The Costa Rica National Emergency Service Team).

In the historical earthquakes in CATDAT, damaging earthquakes have hit the region of Guanacaste, in particular Nicoya in the following years:- 1827, 1853, 1863, 1900, 1905, 1916, (1939), 1950, 1978, 1990. Liquefaction and Landslides characterise some of these earthquakes, and the rural nature of building styles has caused damage in the past.

Costa Rica has a very good building code for seismic resistance, with modern buildings having some of the strictest measures in the world.


UPDATE:- Sámara, is a town directly at the epicenter situated along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The town is rather small (approximately 1500 full-time residents, including close-by towns such as Torito and Cantarrana) with its main street leading directly to the beach. Nicoya is the main city in the region with about 25000 inhabitants in total in the canton. The towns are built in old colonial style, and given the earthquake history have not been impacted upon an earthquake of this size in at least 60 years or more.

UPDATE:- There are reports of damage to infrastructure in different cantons of Guanacaste. It is not yet known whether a tsunami has been triggered.

UPDATE:- It has been felt intensity VII and VIII outside of the epicentral region indicating major damage in the epicentral region. The values of VIII in San Jose registered are not expected and are probably outliers. It was felt in Nicaragua and other countries in Central America.

UPDATE:- The earthquake was most felt in Samara in Guanacaste. We have a local magnitude of 6.7 at a depth of 6km which will cause major damage in the epicentral area. 13 km al Suroeste de CANGREJAL de Nicoya de Guanacaste.

UPDATE:- Tsunami Alert : Costa Rica, Panamá, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, México, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala y Perú.

A major earthquake has hit mainland Costa Rica with an initial magnitude of M7.6.

The Costa Rica seismology agency is currently down. Electricity and telecommunications were down in San Jose.

The earthquake has been registered with M7.9 from local sources, but offshore.

This is a potentially very damaging earthquake and there is a tsunami warning, given the difference in locations.

A M6.9 earthquake struck near here in 1978, causing zero deaths.

At least 500,000 people live in the near epicentral area with damaging intensities.

Twitter reports from Costa Rica:- "100km from us - shook the whole house, lasted a full minute. Crazy"

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : M7.6 (USGS), Mw 7.5 (GEOFON)
UTC Time : 14:42:10 UTC, 5th September, 2012.
Local time at epicenter : 08:42:10, 5th September, 2012.
Depth (Hypocenter) : 46km (USGS), 35km
Geo-location(s) : 10km from Hochancha

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Shaking map
Scientific parameters
Human impact map

Click here for examples of our "earthquake notifications (button below)"

Refresh this list
SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
EMSC Costa Rica Sep 05 22:46 4.6 37 MAP
USGS Costa Rica Sep 05 22:46 4.6 37 MAP
GEOFON Off Coast Of Costa Rica Sep 05 22:46 4.5 37 MAP
EMSC Costa Rica Sep 05 22:11 4.5 25 MAP
USGS Costa Rica Sep 05 22:11 4.5 35 MAP
GEOFON Off Coast Of Costa Rica Sep 05 22:11 4.4 30 MAP
USGS Off The Coast Of Costa Rica Sep 05 15:58 4.4 21 MAP
EMSC Off Coast Of Costa Rica Sep 05 15:58 4.5 22 MAP
EMSC Costa Rica Sep 05 15:12 4.4 10 MAP
USGS Costa Rica Sep 05 15:12 4.5 35 MAP
GEOFON Costa Rica Sep 05 15:12 5.0 34 MAP
EMSC Costa Rica Sep 05 14:42 7.6 40 MAP
  • San Jose, Costa Rica - long term quake, and the feeling of unstable ground
  • Costa Rica - it started out slowly as if a small wave i started seeing things start to sway back and forth then it increased in intensity, and seemed to last a long time in earthquake time. I was in the Loma Preta earthquake in California around 1989, and this seemed longer than that. nothing broke I was also in the last earthquake here in Costa Rica a few years back that one was more intense but not as long
  • San Antonio de Belen, Costa Rica - We have had earthquakes in this area before, some even quite close (like 5 miles) but this was the worst I had experienced. My roommate said he could see the mountains shake beyond the metro area (San Jose) to the south, from his balcony. We are about 150 miles (approx.) west of the center but reports say it was between a 7.5 and 7.9 tremor...which makes the damage closer to the source, presumably, much more severe. We await further news from the web and tv.
  • Vuelta de Jorco - Not a lot of strong shakes but lasted longer than any other earthquake since I've been here the last 8 years. A long shaking, maybe about 20 seconds. We are up in the mountains.
  • Montezuma CR - Howler monkeys are upset. Power is out. Concrete building has some cracks and light damage.
  • Atenas - vases came crashing down from cupboards, mini tsunami in pool, really scary
  • Tango Mar, Tambor - My mom lives at Tango Mar (Tambor) can someone please let me know anything from the region? I live in Belgium and scared!
  • Uvita - Moderate to strong shakes lasted for about 20 minutes.
  • Monteverde - Lots of shaking in taller buildings in Monteverde. Weaker built houses reporting broken windows. Most felt eathquake shake in decades
  • San JOse, Costa Rica - Started off shaking justa a little then got very strong for a good 10-15 seconds. enough to get people to start heading out the building, but it was more scary the lenght of the earthquake then the actual shake.
  • San Jose, Costa Rica - Very strong shaking reported from San Jose
  • San Isidro de Alajuela - I am a tourist visiting a friend. It was horrible. The house is fairly damaged. I hope people are ok...
  • San José, Costa Rica - Well it was very strong and lasted quite a long time. Objects fell off at some places but where I am at right now we didn't have that issue.
  • San Pedro, San Jose, Costa Rica - Moderate shaking experienced
  • San Rafael - shkealot, felt dizzy, nothing feltdown, scarethe younone17yrsold ,herfirst earthquake!
  • Desamparados, Costa Rica - Lasted a long time (about a minute or so). The shaking wasn't strong at first then got pretty strong then started to stop quickly. At it's peak, it knocked a pressurized air can off the desk. Just felt disoriented and dizzy. Relatives live near the epicenter. One said it was so strong that he couldn't stand (because he was sitting at the time). Everyone's ok so we're thankful 🙂
  • San Isidro - In my hometown phones do not work, or cell phones. was very strong there. here was strong but services work. I can not communicate with my family, landslides in the street and no way to San Carlos. Here in this quiet San Isidro.
  • Buena beach - Our daughter just got to Occidental Grand Papagayo - AI. Buena Beach, Papagayo Gulf. Guanacaste, yesterday but sent a message just minutes after it occured saying they are OK. I wonder if there is damage at the Liberia airport.
  • Monteverde - Sitting at desk when hit took cover under desk, hard to stand. Rolling waves lasted maybe 30-45 seconds or so, no damage just small items knocked down, pictures on walls askew. Have lived over Hayward fault in SF bay area, which is more jerky, strong jolt. This was more like waves on ocean.
  • Playa Avellanas - Playa Avellanas is about 40 or 50 kilometers north of Nosara. Standing in the parking lot by the beach I could feel the ground start to move and then the shaking got stronger and stronger. Seemed like a long time, maybe 30 seconds or so. No damage to Lolas but the people there were pretty dazed by the whole thing.
  • Palmares, Alajuela, Costa Rica - Glasses and other stuff fell off with the severe oscillation. The movement lasted for about a minute. The lights were going on and off several times before electricity went out. No electricity or water after the shake and now, 6 hours later, still no electricity in my area
  • Manuel Antonio - Strong shaking and with long duration. No damage to us, house or contents. Lost electricity for a few minutes. Also lost land & cel phone service for a while. Pool water was all churned-up; looked like a mini tsunami right in our yard.
  • Playa Hermosa Guanacaste - Was at the computer desk when earthquake started to shake the desk, called out to my husband and just then the shaking became stronger....moving bed furniture, shaking windows and topping over vases and ornaments...We were on the fifth floor of our condo and couldn´t walk out. Waited until the shaking subsided, which was about 30 sec or so...then walked down the stairs....someone got stuck in the elevator for an hour....lost a few ornaments and there are a few cracks over the bedroom
  • Ometepe, Nicaragua - I was outside on Ometepe in Nicaragua. The earthquake was gentle and rolling. It seemed to last quite a while for an earthquake.
  • San Jose - Im from Los Angeles and beginning of the shake was similar to the big one in LA in Northridge. As the shake progressed it became alot more aggressive and yes seem to last along time. One thing I noticed, it had a different sound and certainly left me wating for aftershocks.
  • USGS Costa Rica Sep 05 14:42 7.6 40 MAP
  • Managua Nicaragua - I had never felt an earthquake before, I felt like my head was spinning and I got dizzy for about 6 seconds, then I went to check with my partner, who confirmed he'd felt it to and so had the family we live with.
  • Managua, Nicaragua - sort of rolling, not jolting
  • Diriamba, Nicaragua - The shaking was rather long here. The doors were shaking and it felt more like a rolling back and forth movement. We all felt dizzy for several minutes afterward.
  • Granada, Nicaragua - Was more rolling/rocking. We were in bed and I thought my girlfriend was shaking the bed with her foot. Very long lasting, made me feel really dizzy when I got up to feel the ground.
  • David, Panama - Lasted very long, my guess was more than 40 seconds. Things hanging on wall moving, must have been massive/
  • Panama - building moving back and forth, felt like i was on unstable ground. 100km nw of panama city
  • Venado, Honduras - Between 8:45 - 9:00am, felt a moderate, but constant swaying here on the coast at El Venado, Honduras. Lasted for approx. 1.0 - 1.5 min. Nothing shaken off shelves, but everything swaying.
  • guatemala city - I felt it laying in Bed. It was first like an irritation and then I realized that it was the house vibrating and moving very lightly.
  • in the mountains of Boquete, in Panama - Lasted a few seconds, it was like a light wave under the floor which made me nauseous. September 5th, around late morning / lunch time.
  • Managua Nicaragua - I was in school when the earthquake took place
  • USGS Off The Coast Of Costa Rica Sep 05 14:42 7.9 20 MAP
  • Tres Rios, Cartago, Costa Rica - I was in my home when I felt the tremors begin. As they increased in intensity, things on shelves began falling over, a couple of ornaments broke, water in a tall vase swished onto the shelf. I ran out the front door; the ground was rolling under my feet, and my car was dancing! It was a very scary experience. No noticeable damage to my home.
  • GEOFON Costa Rica Sep 05 14:42 7.6 35 MAP


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    I felt the shaking *
    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
    Shaking Strength *
    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) ?
    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.
    Tell us your experience and how many seconds the shaking lasted + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage). (max. 500 characters)
    * mandatory fields


    1. Volcanoes in Nicaragua awaked by this earthquake!!

    2. I live in Costa Rica. The shake was felt all over the country and even thought this has been the second strongest quake in our country history, the damage reported so far is just for some houses, some crackers on roads, slides and things like that. So far is just one people died as direct consequence from the shake and one for a hearth attack. We have a very strict construction code since 1974 that, thanks God, prevents a lot of damage.

    3. Thanks Joan!

      I was on the phone and we lost contact. Tried to call her back but lines were down. I could hear she was very afraid. We spoke last night and thanks God she is fine. Only some little dammage at Tango Mar.
      Thansk for replay!

    4. My mom lives at Tango Mar (Tambor) can someone please let me know anything from the region?
      I live in Belgium and scared!

      • inge: my brother is in tambor close to tango mar. spoke to him this A.M. and everthing is ok at his place... he said the place shook pretty hard but didnt mention anything falling down or breaking. i hope this helps...its aweful to worry...good luck