Strong earthquakes rattle Central America

Panama City, Dec 7: The Central American countries of Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala were rattled by powerful earthquakes Saturday, though no casualties, nor any serious material damage were reported.

A magnitude-6.4 quake hit the western part of Panama and was felt strongly in the Chiriqui province on the Costa Rican border, the National Geosciences Institute at the University of Panama reported.

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The temblor occurred in the Pacific Ocean 38 km southeast of the city of Puerto Armuelles, located some 550 km from the Panamanian capital, according to the Geosciences Institute.

The Sinaproc emergency management service said that no fatalities nor injuries have been reported, and on its Twitter account noted that preliminary reports "indicate that no buildings have collapsed" in Chiriqui, though the situation was being monitored.

Costa Rica suffered a magnitude-6 quake with its epicentre in the Pacific Ocean, 65 km south of the Laurel community in Puntarenas province near the Panamanian border, the National Seismological Network (RSN) said.

The earthquake was felt strongly on Costa Rica's Pacific coast, in the southern part of the country and in the Panamanian towns of Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui, and with less force in San Jose, the Costa Rican capital, the RSN added.

Costa Rican authorities reported no material damage, nor people being affected as a result of the quake.

Guatemala, on the other hand, was shaken by a magnitude-4.7 quake with its epicentre in southern Mexico, with no victims or material damage being reported, the Conred emergency management service reported.


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