2 hurt as magnitude 6.1 earthquake shakes northern Panama

The US Geological Survey says the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 and was centred 7 kilometres southeast of the town of Plaza de Caisan

The US Geological Survey says the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 and was centred 7 kilometres southeast of the town of Plaza de Caisan

A 6.2-magnitude natural disaster struck the border area between Costa Rica and Panama at around 3:24 pm Sunday afternoon local time.

The quake struck at 3.24pm ET about 4 miles southeast of Plaza de Caisan, Panama, at a depth of 23 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The National Civil Protection System said five people were hurt and four homes were damaged in the natural disaster, which hit 22 km from the town of Puerto Armuelles.

Residents near the epicenter reported feeling moderate to strong shaking for about 15 to 20 seconds. Two of the damaged homes collapsed, Sinaproc added. "Everything happened so fast". Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela said on Twitter that a few shops and houses were harmed and that a lady was harmed in the Panamanian port of Puerto Armuelles when the tremor made the roof of her home collapse.

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Both Panama and Costa Rica are on the so-called 'Pacific Ring of Fire, ' an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes.

The Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Panama clarified that the magnitude of aftershocks was 6.3, the epicenter was located 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) from the city of Puerto Armuelles in the province of Chiriqui on the border with Costa Rica.

Further north, two months earlier in September 2017 a 7.1-magnitude quake killed more than 300 people in Mexico.

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