A moderate to strong earthquake took place at 4:47 p.m. Friday as Central Valley office workers were getting ready for the weekend.
Many described the quake as scary because it endured for more than two minutes.
The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica said the quake took place at a depth of about 65 kilometers (about 40 miles) from internal distortion inside the Coco tectonic plate that underlies much of the country. The magnitude was put at 5.9, and the location was about seven kilometers north of Puriscal
The U.S. Earthquake Information Center said the quake was a little deeper at 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) and said the location was 28 kilometers (17
miles) northwest of San José. The center said the magnitude was 6.0.
There were no immediate reports of serious damage even in Puriscal.
Recorder displays at the earthquake observatory showed that the strong quake endured for up to three minutes. Then there were 10 minutes of lesser movement. The quake was felt all over the country. In Puntarenas on the Pacific coast residents were reported to have run from their homes in the driving rain.
In San José multi-story office buildings shook and workers crawled under desks. The quake seemed to be in two waves with a second strong movement following the first. In the center of the city the quake was significantly stronger and longer than the one that killed 30 persons in Cinchona Jan. 8, 2009, although the experts rated that quake at 6.2.