Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Earthquake in Costa Rica This Morning

Geologically speaking, it has been an exciting day so far here in Costa Rica. According to the USGS and OVSICORI (Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica) a 6.2 magnitude quake hit near the Costa Rica/Panama border, a few miles north of Puerto Armuelles, Panama, at 12:11 a.m. Location coordinates are 8.295 degrees North and 82.928 degrees West. Depth was approximately 30 miles. It lasted for over 2 minutes.

Being a geologist by profession, I checked out the seismograph reading for the 5 active volcanoes here in Costa Rica before publishing this post (which is why the post was not up earlier). Four of the five seismographs located on the volcanoes registered a quake at midnight, 11 minutes before the 6.2. Volcanoes Arenal, Rincon de la Vieja, Poas, and Irazu all had registered tremors at midnight. Volcano Turrialba did not register the earlier quake. Haven't been able to determine their magnitudes as of yet, but would make an educated guess of a high 3 or low 4. All five seismographs (Arenal, Rincon de la Vieja, Poas, Irazu, and Turrialba) all registered the 6.2 and the 4.7 that occurred around 1 a.m. Since then we have experience at least 4 more tremors: 3:38 a.m., 5 a.m., 5:53 a.m., and 7:54 a.m. (these times are approximate). These last 4 tremors, again an educated guess, were 2.5 to 4.0 in magnitude.

Someone recently asked, "How many quakes does Costa Rica have per day?" The answer is somewhere between 30 and 40 a day. Many are too light to be felt. We have somewhere between 25 to 35 large quakes per year (4.0 magnitude or above).



Mama Zen said...

Wow! That would absolutely terrify me!

Debbie said...

Interesting, the things you learn reading blogs. I didn't know you were a geologist. You must be pretty smart. :) And I didn't know that Costa Rica had so many active volcanoes. I've only experienced one earthquake in my life; the Northridge, CA quake and it was scary.

BTW, thank you so much for your prayers for Jeanie and Duane. Although Duane is still critical (intubated, on dialysis, in ICU, etc), he is more stable since his bleeding stopped. The doctors were surprised he is still with us. That is the power of prayer. I printed off the comments on my blog and gave them to Jeanie. She was so touched. Thank you again.

Amrita said...

That was quite a jolt. Hope you all were safe.

Costa Rica Information said...

From Costa Rica: We feel the quake.
Most of the damages are around the Poas Volcano. It is frecuent around here.
Some medium material damages, But it is not to alarm the world.

If you need to contact or locate somebody
You can use http://RegistroNacional.Com
to to search people if you know the name, phone, address, properties or cars.

Sheryl Thomas said...

Visit many times. True that there are many small tremblitas per day.
the "venting" seems to keep big one's at bay.
Although Nicoya is worth keeping an ear on.