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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Interpol issues wanted notice for ‘Whale Wars’ star
Paul Watson, seen here speaking to reporters in Berlin in May, skipped bail last month.
August 9th, 2012
12:51 PM ET

Interpol issues wanted notice for ‘Whale Wars’ star

Interpol has issued an international wanted notice for conservationist and “Whale Wars” TV star Paul Watson, days after he skipped bail in Germany as Costa Rica tried to have him extradited.

Watson was arrested at Germany’s Frankfurt airport on May 13 on an arrest warrant issued by Costa Rica, which accuses him of endangering a fishing vessel off the coast of Guatemala in 2002.

He posted roughly $302,000 bail and was ordered to remain in Germany as it considered Costa Rica’s extradition request, but he stopped reporting to authorities on July 22, a German court said. Watson left Germany and forfeited his bail, according to his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which isn’t revealing his location.

“Following confirmation from German authorities that Paul Watson had failed to satisfy the bail conditions established by the German courts and had fled the country, Costa Rican authorities renewed their request” for Interpol to issue an international wanted notice for Watson, which Interpol did Tuesday, Interpol said.

Costa Rican authorities allege that Watson whose attempts to disrupt Japanese whalers at sea gained him fame on Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” TV show and his crew aboard Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Warrior ship endangered a Costa Rican fishing vessel during a confrontation off Guatemala’s coast.

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'Whale Wars' captain freed on bail from German jail
Activists put up a poster calling for a German court to free Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson.
May 21st, 2012
11:02 AM ET

'Whale Wars' captain freed on bail from German jail

Controversial Sea Shepherd conservationist and "Whale Wars" star Paul Watson was released from a German jail on Monday after posting 250,000 euros ($318,000) bail in an extradition case from Costa Rica.

Watson, whose attempts to disrupt Japanese whalers at sea gained fame through Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” TV show, was detained last weekend at the Frankfurt airport after Costa Rica issued an international request for his arrest.

Costa Rican authorities allege that Watson’s crew aboard Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Warrior ship endangered a Costa Rican fishing vessel during a confrontation off Guatemala’s coast in 2002, according to the Frankfurt court.

The court ruled Friday that Germany will consider the request and that Costa Rica will have 90 days to make its case. The German Ministry of Justice then will decide whether to extradite Watson.

Speaking outside the prison Monday, Watson defended what happened in the Costa Rica case.

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Bail set for 'Whale Wars' star in extradition fight
Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson faces charges in Costa Rica stemming from a sea confrontation in 2002.
May 18th, 2012
02:54 PM ET

Bail set for 'Whale Wars' star in extradition fight

The German justice system will entertain a Costa Rican request to extradite controversial Sea Shepherd conservationist and "Whale Wars" star Paul Watson, but he can post bail while the matter is considered, a Frankfurt court ruled Friday.

Bail for Watson who faces what his organization and attorney allege are politically motivated charges over a 2002 confrontation at sea with Costa Rican fishermen was set at 250,000 euro ($318,000), Frankfurt high regional court spokesman Ingo Nohre said.

Watson, 61, intends to post it Monday, his group said.

Watson, whose attempts to disrupt Japanese whalers at sea gained fame through Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” TV show, was detained last weekend at the Frankfurt airport after Costa Rica issued an international request for this arrest.

Costa Rican authorities allege that Watson’s crew aboard Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Warrior ship endangered a Costa Rican fishing vessel during a confrontation off Guatemala’s coast, according to the Frankfurt court.

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April 9th, 2012
11:24 AM ET

Costa Rican diplomat kidnapped in Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela (CNN) - Authorities are investigating the kidnapping of a Costa Rican diplomat in Venezuela, officials said Monday.

Guillermo Cholele, an official at the Costa Rican Embassy in Caracas, was kidnapped when he was on his way home Sunday night, Costa Rica's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

A call to the diplomat's home requested money in exchange for his release and said Cholele was in good condition, the ministry said.

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October 19th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

Central American rains a reminder of Mitch

The death toll from recent rain and flooding in Central America rose to at least 91 Wednesday as the deluge rivaled what the region witnessed during the deadly Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

The deadliness of the current disaster is much smaller than Mitch - which killed some 11,000 people - but the large amounts of rain are causing similar damage: washed out bridges, landslides, flooding and river overflows.

"We think of hurricanes as the thing that causes the most damage, but you can have rains that are just as damaging without the hurricane," Herman Rosa Chavez, El Salvador's minister of the environment and natural resources, told CNN.

Already, the rain in El Salvador has tripled the average rainfall for the month of October.

Gauges in the country were registering recent rainfall as high as 55 inches. In comparison, Hurricane Mitch dumped between 50 and 70 inches of rain in the Central American region.

"This phenomenon is of great magnitude," Rosa Chavez said.

A vital difference between the death toll now and in 1998 is that during Mitch, the rainfall came in a matter of a few days. This time, the precipitation has come over a period of more than a week.

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Filed under: Costa Rica • El Salvador • Flooding • Guatemala • Honduras • Nicaragua • Weather
November 4th, 2010
11:16 AM ET

At least seven dead, 25 missing after Costa Rica mudslides

[Updated at 11:16 a.m.] Seven people died and another 25 to 30 were missing Thursday after heavy overnight rains caused severe mudslides in parts of Costa Rica, the nation's Red Cross said.

Another 600 people have sought refuge in 14 shelters, said the Costa Rica National Commission for Emergencies, commonly known as CNE for its Spanish abbreviation.

[Posted at 10:49 a.m.] At least two people died and another 25 to 30 were missing Thursday after heavy overnight rains caused severe mudslides in parts of Costa Rica, the nation's Red Cross said.

CNN affiliate Teletica TV reported that unnamed rescue officials said seven people had died. CNN could not independently confirm that figure.

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