Costa Rica is situated in seismic area. Along western coast
of the country, the oceanic table-land crashes with continental table-land.
Continental table-land draws over oceanic one and forces to plunge in covered
below next earth layel. It`s called subduction and caused the serious seismic activity.
The notes about Costa Rica earthquakes have been recorded since 1888. In XX century were recorded 5 earthquakes stronger than 7R. Big earthquake hit Costa Rica in 1910. It destroyed Cartago and parts of San Jose. 400 people have been killed and 1.000 has been wounded. Latest serious earthquake occured on April, 22 th of 1991.
It measured 7,4 on Richter scale. The earthquake's epicenter was in the scarcely
populated Valle de la Estrella, on the east side of the Cordillera de Talamanca,
about 10 kilometers from the Costa Rica-Panama border. Many buildings and roads
collapsed in Limon Province. Coastal coral reef also suffered seriously
destruccion. In result, 27 persons have been killed, 400 wounded and 13.000 lost
their houses. That was the strongest earthquake to occur within Costa Rica in
On every day in Costa Rica occurs small single barely felt
earthquakes called sismos. Record year in this respect was 1989, when within
only two monthes were recorded 16 thousant shakes, among others 16 reaching 4
degrees in Richter scale. (In 2000 there were recorded 7.000 tremors, and 69 of them felt). Because of the freguent earthquakes Costa Rica is called
"the craddle of America". Within the next few years is expected strong (7,5 - 8 in Richter scale) earthquake in Nicoya peninsula.
On July 30th of 2002, the earthquake (6,2 R) hit Costa Rica - Panama border (Valley of Coto Brus and the vicinity of Golfito). 2 people have been wounded, and some houses lost the roofs. It happened in the so called Panama foult where two plates (Cocos and Nazca) move against each other.