The United States Geological Service (USGS) recorded a 6.0-magnitude earthquake which struck 3km (1.8mi) southeast of Jacó (Puntarenas province) on Monday, August 24, at 15:51 (local time). The quake struck at a depth of 27km (17mi). Although tremors were felt as far as San Jose, no casualties or damage were immediately reported.
Aftershocks are possible in the affected area over the coming hours and days.
Earthquakes are common in the country, as it sits on top of a highly seismic region. Although most of the tremors are weak-to-moderate in intensity, powerful earthquakes are also possible, notably on the Nicoya Peninsula which sits on the boundary of two tectonic plates. These high-intensity quakes on the peninsula are known to occur twice every century.
Due to the risk of earthquakes, the government has rolled out building safety guidelines to mitigate the possible impact of tremors on the human population. However, implementation has been generally weak. In addition, a high concentration of the population in the San Jose Greater Metropolitan Area as well as the capital districts of San Jose, Pavas, Alajuela, San Francisco and Curridabat are situated on top of soft soil in the Central Valley, increasing the risk of widespread devastation in the event of a powerful earthquake.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor the situation and prepare for potential aftershocks.
In the event of aftershocks, individuals are advised to protect themselves as much as possible from falling debris if indoors (e.g., under a table), move away from windows, and not attempt to leave a building unless there is immediate danger. If outdoors, move away from tall buildings, utility wires, and streetlights. Follow authority directives.
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