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. me

    Brazil? oh CNN.........

    September 5, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Geo Doc

      Large earthquakes can have a very large range of influence. I'm sure that y'all remember that Central America is an isthmus (google it). Thus, energy dispersed by a 7.6m eq on the Pacific side of Costa Rica could possibly trigger a underwater landslide and possibly a tsunami (depending on the amount of material displaced). Personally, I WOULD be very concerned about a possible tsunami in the Gulf due to magnification effect on the waves in a contained body of water. Even a small shock could create a devastating wave. So the call is correct – concern for BOTH sides of the country is completely warranted.

      September 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrBo

      The tsunami warning went to the Caribbean initially in error, which would affect Brazil. CNN just reported it, they didn't make it up. So I don't get your "Brazil? Oh CNN..." comment...

      September 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. shilpa spencer

    Vow ! you got out of possible disrutions in traffic etc.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nella

    Tsunami warning now issued for the state of Hawaii.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nicarao

    D- in geography... It's on the pacific ocean!

    September 5, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Geo Doc

      F in geology. Costa Rica is an isthmus, yes? So... big earthquake on one side of an isthmus... big underwater landslide on the other side of isthmus... worst case scenario... big underwater displacements on BOTH sides of an isthmus and a "double tsunami."

      September 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Don S

    Have children and grandchildren in Samara We cannot get through. Any information appreciated

    September 5, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaco local

      Much of the Pacific side of the country is without electricity and phone lines are down. Havent heard anything about Samara as of yet. I am hoping to hear from my mom in Playa Jaco soon to get an update on how things are in Costa Rica.

      September 5, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. Annie Jones

    My brother is in Malpais on vacation.... he is not sure where to go or what to do. He is driving to higher ground and following everyone else's lead... does anyone have any suggestions as to where he should go?

    September 5, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      He will be fine, there is a mountain right next to Mal Pais, all he has too do is go up!

      September 5, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Annie Jones


      September 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ed

    If the earthquake hit closer to the Pacific side of Costa Rica, wouldn't the Galapagos be more in danger of a tsunami?

    September 5, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jaco local

    Some building damage. Things thrown from shelves. Mostly typical of the regular tremors and distant quakes around Jaco. My families house fared well but lost alot of belonging due to breakage. They are still accessing the damage and posting me as they find out more. They were pretty frantic on the phone and needed to check on everything so conversation was short.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. lolita

    this is the biggest tsunami in the history of mankind. It hits Costa Rica and it will also hit Brazil. This tsunami will go around Argentina and eventually hit Brazil.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. StrikeForce

    That's great its starts with an earthquake.....birds and snakes...

    September 5, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaco local

      and Aeroplanes....

      September 5, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Tim1991

    I heard thousands were washed away in Rio de Janero. They are expecting it to hit New Orleans this evening. Things are looking bad.

    September 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nilda

    The coast of Brazil????? that's a mistake! Brazil is at the The Atlantic Coast! and the earthquake was at the pacific side of Costa Rica.... so the tsunami to go Brazil... first must crash Asia and Africa... come on guys!

    September 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geo Doc

      Another F in geology... Costa Rica is an isthmus? Does that ring any bells?

      September 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Frank

    How insensitive of you!!!! I am trying to help dozens of people get to high ground on the Pacific coast, including my fiance. Not funny cynical, not funny at all (loser!!!!)

    September 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Andrew

    So the tsunami will hit Panama ?

    September 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jack

    Really? Who vetted the epicenter for you guys?

    September 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
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