Quake of 6.1 magnitude in Panama injures one, no initial reports of deaths

Quake of 6.1 magnitude in Panama injures one, no initial reports of deaths

May 12, 2019– Mary Greeley News – A strong earthquake struck a lightly populated area of Panama near its border with Costa Rica on Sunday, causing some wooden porches to collapse and products to shake from store shelves.

Panamanian authorities said at least two people had been injured in a village but gave no details. Sigifredo Perez, head of operations for Costa Rica’s National Commission of Emergencies, said no major damage or injuries had been reported in his country.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a 6.1 preliminary magnitude and was centered seven kilometers (four miles) southeast of the town of Plaza de Caisan. The quake occurred at a depth of about 37 kilometers (22 miles).

The USGS later pinpointed the epicenter of the quake as a few miles (km) north of Canoas in Costa Rica, right on the border with Panama. Local emergency services in Canoas said they had no initial reports of damage or fatalities there.

Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela said on Twitter that some shops and houses were damaged and that a woman was injured in the Panamanian port of Puerto Armuelles when the quake caused the ceiling of her home to cave in.

Quake of 6.1 magnitude in Panama injures one, no initial reports of deaths

Puerto Armuelles is near the epicenter of the quake. A local police spokeswoman said some buildings were damaged but there were no initial reports of fatalities.

Panama’s firefighting association said on Twitter it had received reports of the ground shaking from residents in different regions of the country and urged calm.

Images posted on social media showed simple wooden homes that partially collapsed in rural areas, deep fissures in tightly packed beach sand and entire grocery store shelves that spilled containers of processed food and bottled beverages on the floor.

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“I was in the supermarket and everything swayed,” Carla Chavez said by phone from David, the capital of Panama’s Chiriqui province near the quake’s epicenter. “Merchandise fell on the floor. Everything happened so fast.”

Quake of 6.1 magnitude in Panama injures one, no initial reports of deaths

Panama’s National Civil Protection Service said via Twitter that walls cracked at a hospital and two supermarkets in Changuinola in Bocas del Toro province.

Northern Panama is frequently hit by earthquakes. In 1991, a magnitude 7.4 quake killed 23 people and injured 500. A magnitude 6.7 tremor in 2003 killed two people and damaged hundreds of houses.



Mary Greeley News
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credit: In part with http://news.trust.org/item/20190512205445-304zk/