Earthquake off Panamá felt as far north as Central Valley

A 6.0 earthquake took place just south of Costa Rica and in the Pacific off the coast of Panama.

The quake was felt the strongest in Costa Rica by communities in the south, but the Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica reported that the movement was felt at least as far north as the Central Valley and even at a point in northern Guanacaste.

The quake was unusual because in the Central Valley the gentle rockling motion lasted at least three minutes. The movement began 35 minutes after midnight.

The sensors at the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica at Universidad Nacional  showed that the quake lasted for nine minutes, although the strength diminished after the first 240 seconds.

The epicenter was 103.5 kilometers (about 64 miles) south southeast of Golfito, said the Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica at the Universidad de Costa Rica. That put the quake very close to the  Middle America Trench, the highly active subduction zone where the Cocos tectonic plate is forcing its way under the Caribbean plate.

The quake was strong enough to have caused some damage in western towns in Panamá. But there were no reports early today.

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