Costa Rica Escapes Serious Damage From Earthquake

A powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake shook Costa Rica and neighboring countries yesterday. The streets were full of panicked people, as a brief tsunami alert was triggers, but caused little damages. As of press time, authorities reported one confirmed death. “When we felt the earthquake, we held onto each other because we kept falling,” Rosa Pichardo, 45, said. Pichardo was walking on the beach in the town of Samara with her family when the earthquake hit. “I’ve never felt anything like this. We just couldn’t stay standing. My feet gave out under me. It was terrible, terrible,” she said. Officials in the region commented on the damage, saying the quake collapsed some houses and at least one bridge that caused landslides, effectively blocking highways. Costa Rica President Laura Chincilla said there were no reports of major damage and called for calm around the area. Residents described being shocked by the sheer force of the quake, which was felt as far away as Panama and Nicaragua and was the biggest since a 7.6-magnitude quake in 1991 that left 47 people dead. Props: USA Today