Earthquake Triggers Landslide, Teen Killed

November 20, 2009

A landslide in San Vito de Coto Brus in Costa Rica’s southern zone killed a 15-year-old high school student last week 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, Nov. 13. Local firefighters and the National Police reported the landslide at 4:30 p.m. Shortly afterward, officials announced that it had caused the death of Yuliana Sandoval.

Authorities believe that ground saturated by heavy rainfall in the area and Friday’s shakes were the principal causes of the landslip.

The debris from the landslide covered more than 100 meters and forced closure of the highway in San Vito de Coto Brus. On Saturday, crews cleared the road.

According to the NationalUniversity’s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory (OVSICORI), the epicenter of the quake was 20 kilometers northeast of Parrita, a coastal farming town southwest of San José.

OVSICORI reported that the quake occurred 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 networking 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.

–Mike McDonald

 

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