September 5th, 2012
01:17 PM ET

7.6-magnitude quake hits on Costa Rican coast

[Updated at 1:17 p.m. ET] A tsunami warning for Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama in the wake of a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in the region has been canceled, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Wednesday.

[Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET]A tsunami warning issued after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Coast Rica on Wednesday remains in effect for Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. The warning was canceled for other locations.

[Updated at 11:28 a.m. ET] The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, has issued an expanding regional tsunami warning and watch for parts of the Pacific located closer to the 7.6-magnitude quake off Costa Rica. The center said Hawaii could be elevated to watch or warning status as new data comes in.

[Updated at 11:18 a.m. ET] A tsunami watch issued for the Caribbean after a 7.6-magnitude quake struck the coast of Costa Rica has been canceled. The watch was inadvertently sent by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, and meant for the Pacific.

[Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET] The U.S. Geological Survey has reduced the magnitude of an earthquake that struck off the coast of Costa Rica from 7.9 to 7.6.

[Posted at 10:55 a.m. ET] An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.9 struck off the coast of Costa Rica, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake was recorded on the Costa Rican coast, about 95 miles west of the capital, San Jose, and ran more than 28 miles deep.

A tsunami watch was in effect for much of the Caribbean, including along the coastlines of Brazil, Mexico, most countries in Central America and many islands.

"Earthquakes of this size have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the Caribbean region," the U.S. government said.

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Filed under: Costa Rica • Earthquake • Natural Disasters
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Drareg

    This one was the worst I've ever experienced down here – I was getting quite concerned with the building swaying, as all these buildings are cement block construction. Thought I just felt a little aftershock, but maybe I'm just being paranoid now.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • maria

      The buildings in CR are meant for earthquakes, they shake with the groud, therefore, inside a building it can feel worse. Good luck to you! I'm from Costa Rica and I know how you are feeling right now.

      September 5, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. We Get It

    Alright everyone, we get it. You think Brazil is fine. Intelligent response thread going on here.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. Liberal IW

    In San Jose, barely even felt it. No damage and no fallen objects.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. dilla

    Im learning more from the comments then the article..

    September 5, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. tom

    tsunami watch cancelled for the Caribbean. Issued in mistake per the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

    September 5, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ed in Reno, Nevada

    I just looked the location up on an earthquake site and the location in the picture above appears to be correct. Therefore, I also have to wonder why the Caribbean and Brazil should be on Tsunami alert when the quake happened on the Pacific Ocean side of Costa Rica.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. Barry's Brother

    Wrong CNN. The epicenter was about 87 miles west of the capital city of San Jose. Get it right CNN.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. pjm

    any word from Monteverde?

    September 5, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. simbaloco

    If the earthquake struck in the Pacific side of Costa Rica, why would the Caribbean see a Tsunami watch? Moreover, why would Brazil even care? Can anyone explain? Tx

    September 5, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Barry's Brother

      Yes. The information you have is wrong.

      September 5, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. Brian32

    For all those asking why Brazil issued precautionary tsunami warnings need to ask Brazil. They themselves issued it, i'm currently on vacation in Sao Paulo and i just saw the warnings a little while ago here on the news. Also this article does not once say Brazil is in or part of the Caribbean.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. simbaloco

    Okay, I guess it's been clarified.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. Reykjavik

    Wow. Sure seems to be a lot of confusion about earthquakes/tsunamis here today.

    Yes, the earthquake did occur on the PACIFIC coast and tsunami warnings are being issued for places in the Caribbean on the ATLANTIC side. This is because the the P and S waves of the earthquake radiate in both directions away from the epicenter. Costa Rica is placed on a pretty thin isthmus, giving little resistance to the waves and enabling them to travel with little reduced force to the Atlantic side.

    Think of the ripples after you throw a pebble into a pond, they travel out from the center in a circle. Its much the same with earthquake waves through the ground and water.

    Well I hope this clears things up for some people. Have a nice day!

    September 5, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Bernadette

      I plan to be in Costa Rica on the Pacific side this weekend – should i be worried?

      September 5, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaco local

      Thank you for educating some people. Anyone who has been to or lived in Costa Rica such as myself would know this, but there always those who are who just need to say something about things they have no knowledge of.

      September 5, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bernadette

    Does anyone know how long these tsunami warnings last? Im planning to be in Costa Rica this weekend and not sure if i should go...

    September 5, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaco local

      Check with the local embassy to get any travel warnings. Roads may be damaged and impassable creating problems for vehicle travel to your destination from San Jose. Good Luck.

      September 5, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jaco local

    Read the article...It says including the coastline of Brazil, not that Brazil is on the Carribean Coast. While everyone is so worried about the misunderstanding of the geographics of this disaster, I am worried about the many people that I know including my own family.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • SneakyRL

      Jaco - Have friends in Jaco. How did the city do? Any damage to buildings or roads in the area?

      September 5, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • denise

      I was thinking the exact same thing...Brazil??

      September 5, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Shake-Rattle-Roll

      0900a (PST): We have installers working in Jaco and San Jose. They reported that "everybody is okay." Also have dealers and reps in the Caribbean. So far, nothing unusual to report (other than frayed nerves).

      September 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Randall

    Remember that we cannot locate our our country on the maps of the world. That is culture!

    September 5, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
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