Landslide triggered by quake kills high schooler in Southern Zone

November 13, 2009

A landslide in San Vito de Coto Brus in Costa Rica´s Southern Zone killed a 15-year-old high school student on Friday afternoon.

The landslide occurred as a 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook much of Costa Rica´s Central Valley and Southern Zone at 3:20 p.m. Friday. Local firefighters and the National Police reported the landslide at 4:30. Shortly after, officials announced that it had caused the death of Yuliana Sandoval.

Authorities believe that heavy rainfall in the area and Friday´s shakes are the principal causes of the landslip.

The debris from the landslide covered more than 100 meters of ground and forced the closure of the highway in San Vito de Coto Brus. On Saturday, crews were working to clear the roadway.

According to the National University´s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory (OVSICORI), the epicenter of Friday afternoon´s quake was 20 kilometers northeast of Parrita, a farming town near the Pacific coast southwest of San José.

OVSICORI reported that the earthquake struck along the Sierra Brunqueña fault line at a depth of 19 kilometers. The fault connects Quepos and Puriscal.

The quake was felt in San José, Heredia and Alajuela in the Central Valley, Jacó on the Pacific coast and Guácimo in Limón, on the Caribbean slope, according to posts by users of the online social network site Twitter.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the movement at 38 km deep with a magnitude of 5.0.

No other injuries or major damage were reported.

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