More quakes rattle Costa Rica; 3 more bodies found from 6.2 temblor

January 9, 2009

Costa Rica was hit with at least five smaller earthquakes Monday night ranging in magnitude from 2.8 to 4.3, and indirectly causing the death of a teenage girl.

Meanwhile, authorities Tuesday unearthed three more bodies from last week´s 6.2 magnitude quake, bringing the death toll to at least 21, according to the Red Cross.

José Gregorio Soro, a close family friend of 17-year-old Arelys Rodríguez Miranda, said the girl died about 5 a.m. today after becoming stressed as a result the aftershocks.

According to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI), a 2.8 magnitude quake hit 1 kilometer south of Vara Blanca at 6:45 p.m. Monday. It was followed at 7:25 p.m. by a 3.4 magnitude tremor 7 kilometers northeast of Bajos del Toro.

At 8:23 p.m., a quake measuring 4.1 struck 7 kilometers southwest of Cinchona, one of the hardest hit communities that is now abandoned. At 9:37 p.m., a 4.0 quake struck 10 kilometers north of Bajos del Toro, and at 1:09 a.m. a quake measuring 4.3 struck in Fraijanes, another region heavily damaged by Thursday´s quake.

National Emergency Commission (CNE) spokesman Reinaldo Carballo said that his office has yet to receive any reports of serious damage following the succession of the overnight temblors, all of which were centered in the Poás Volcano region, the epicenter of Thursday´s 6.2 magnitude quake.

Carballo said officials are inspecting the area. In the first hours following Thursday´s quake, there were few reports of damage or deaths.

The scope of Thursday´s disaster – an estimated 21 deaths, 17 missing and $100 million in damage – is still unfolding.

Javier Pacheco, of OVSICORI, said smaller aftershocks will continue for a few months as the plates readjust, but will become smaller.

Tico Times reporter Holly K. Sonneland contributed to this story.

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