Strong quake strikes Costa Rica: USGS

A strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake has struck Costa Rica, US seismologists said, but there was no threat of a destructive widespread tsunami, and no immediate reports of victims or damage.

The epicenter of yesterday's quake, which struck at 6:45 PM (0045 GMT), was located over land, 140 kilometres (90 miles) west of the capital San Jose, but only 10 kilometers from the town of Hojancha, the US Geological Survey said.

Residents in various parts of the Central American country told television and radio stations that they had strongly felt the quake. Local seismologists measured the quake at 6.2 on the Richter scale. It struck at a depth of 40 kilometers.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a bulletin saying "no destructive widespread tsunami threat exists." But the center warned that quakes of that magnitude "can generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts" located within 100 kilometres of the epicenter.

In September, a powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck off Costa Rica's Pacific coast, briefly knocking out power lines, damaging rooftops and causing panic, but no reported casualties.

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