San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

San José feels first jiggle of the year

Costa Rica´s Central Valley experienced a jolt yesterday morning from a quake that registered a magnitude of 4.0, the first noticeable one of 2009.

Seismologist Víctor González said the tremor started at 10 a.m. and lasted about 3 minutes, but many residents may have only felt it for a few seconds, depending on how close they were to its epicenter.

The quake began 5 kilometers east of the Poás Volcano, 6 km underground, said González, of the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica. He said there were 55 aftershocks.

No injuries or damage were reported.

Yesterday´s quake may have been the first to noticeably shake us this year, but seismic activity has already been stirring quietly, with as many as 10 mini-earthquakes a day, González said.

Last year ended with at least 4,746 quakes, but only about 60 of them were felt, the strongest hitting 6.2 on Nov. 19, the observatory reported.

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