A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.0 hit Costa Rica at 21:51 UTC (15:51 LT) on August 24, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 27.2 km (16.9 miles). OVSICORI-UNA reports M6.0 at a depth of 23 km (14.3 miles). EMSC registered it as M5.3 at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles).
The epicenter was located 3.7 km (2.3 miles) ESE of Jaco (population 4 085), 40.1 km (24.8 miles) SSW of Desamparados (population 14 448), 42.8 km (26.5 miles) SW of San Rafael Abajo (population 27 419), 43.6 km (27 miles) WSW of Tejar (population 22 433), and 49.3 km (30.6 miles) SSE of Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
There are 3 440 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).
48 000 people are estimated to have fled moderate shaking and 3 134 000 light.
There was no tsunami threat from this earthquake.
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google
The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake-resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are mud wall and informal (metal, timber, GI etc.) construction.
Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides and liquefaction that might have contributed to losses.
OVSICORI registered more than 20 small aftershocks over the next 8 hours.
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking
Selected cities exposed
Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google