2009 Costa Rica earthquake

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2009 Costa Rica Earthquake
2009 Costa Rica earthquake is located in Costa Rica
2009 Costa Rica earthquake
Date January 8, 2009 (2009-01-08)
Magnitude 6.1 Mw (6.2 ML)
Depth 4.5 km (2.8 mi)[1]
Epicenter 10°11′49″N 84°09′32″W / 10.197°N 84.159°W / 10.197; -84.159Coordinates: 10°11′49″N 84°09′32″W / 10.197°N 84.159°W / 10.197; -84.159
Areas affected Costa Rica
Casualties 34 dead, 91 injured,[2] 64 missing[3]

The 2009 Costa Rica earthquake (also known as Cinchona Earthquake), occurred at 1:21:34 pm local time (19:21:34 UTC) on January 8, 2009. The epicenter of the 6.1 Mw earthquake was in northern Costa Rica, 30 kilometres (19 mi) north-northwest of San José.[1] It was felt all over Costa Rica as well as in southern central Nicaragua.[1]


A house collapsed after earthquake.
Landslide seen from a helicopter.

The earthquake took at least 34 lives,[3] including at least three children, left about 64 people missing,[3] and injured at least 91.[2] Hundreds of people were trapped and two villages were cut off.[4] Most of the victims died when a landslide occurred near the La Paz waterfall by the Poás Volcano, and 452 people including 369 tourists were evacuated from the area in helicopters.[5] 1,244 people were displaced in the immediate aftermath.[3][6] In addition, a hotel, houses, roads, and vehicles were damaged, and several bridges were also destroyed.[5] The town of Cinchona was heavily hit, and all of the buildings there were heavily damaged.[7] Power was temporarily disrupted in San José.[1]


The Costa Rican Red Cross sent at least 400 people to assist in the recovery.[6] The agency said, "Some 42 communities were affected and sustained serious impacts on civil and electrical infrastructure... [They] are going to need a lot of help."[6] Four helicopters were also dispatched in order to help aid efforts.[6] The Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (National Emergency Commission) requested private helicopters to help with the aid.[8] Additionally, the United States and Colombia dispatched helicopters with aid to assist with the relief and recovery efforts.[9]

About 2,000 aftershocks were felt throughout Costa Rica.[3]

On January 12, President Oscar Arias declared a five-day period of national grieving out of respect for the victims, and asked the organizers of the Fiestas de Palmares[disambiguation needed] to postpone them.

On January 13, the Banco de Costa Rica announced that it would offer home financing credit to homeowners who want to rebuild or fix their home.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Magnitude 6.1 - COSTA RICA". United States Geological Survey. 2008-01-09. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  2. ^ a b "Costa Rica contabiliza 18 muertos y 56 desaparecidos por terremoto". La Prensa Gráfica. 2009-01-10. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved January 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "34 dead, dozens missing from Costa Rica quake". CNN News. January 11, 2009. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "Four killed in strong Costa Rica quake, tourists trapped". The Age. 2009-01-09. Archived from the original on 17 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  5. ^ a b Benavides, Roger (2009-01-09). "Tourists evacuated after fatal Costa Rica quake". Reuters. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  6. ^ a b c d Sabo, Eric; Robin Stringer (2008-01-09). "Costa Rica Earthquake Rescuers Try to Help Thousands (Update1)". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  7. ^ Jimenez, Marianela (2008-01-09). "Death toll in Costa Rica quake rises to 5 victims". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 24 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  8. ^ "13 Dead, Many More Missing In Afternoon 6.2 Earthquake". InsideCostaRica. 2009-01-09. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Garnica, Vanessa I. "Costa Rica, Nicaragua Daily News." Costa Rica Newspaper, The Tico Times, News, Costa Rica Real Estate, Travel – Costa Rica News, Costa Rica Earthquake. 13 Jan. 2009. <http://www.ticotimes.net/dailyarchive/2009_01/0115092.htm>.

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