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These stories were published Thursday, Dec. 25, 2003, in Vol. 3, No. 255
Jo Stuart
About us
Christmas Earthquake edition
Although we did not plan to publish a newspaper for 
Christmas Day, reports from the southwestern part of the country show that an early morning earthquake nearby in Panamá has caused injuries and damage. So here is what we know at 2:30 p.m. Christmas Day.
Don't forget to see the paper tomorrow.
Quake causes some injuries and damage here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck just south of the Costa Rican-Panamá border early Thursday.

The quake took place at 1:11 a.m. Costa Rican time while many persons still were celebrating the arrival of Christmas.

The rolling quake was felt in all of Costa Rica. Some damage was reported near Golfito and in Ciudad Neily and points nearby.  Some injuries but no deaths were reported in Costa Rica.

There were believed to be a number of injuries in Panamá in the Province of Chiriquí. One report said that a baby had been killed by a falling wall there.

Costa Rican officials said that the cantons affected were Coto Brus, Corredores (including Ciudad Neily) and Buenos Aires.  All are in the southwestern part of the country.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica pinpointed the location to be 20 kms. (12 miles) southeast of Puerto Armuelles, Panamá. The estimate of depth was 15 kms. (7.2 miles).

The biggest damage reported was to the Hospital de Ciudad Neily where serious structural damage took place. Some 50 patients there were waiting to leave or already had been transferred to other hospitals.

Electric lines were knocked out in Golfito, San Vito and the city of Buenos Aires. A house was destroyed in Laurel, which is right on the border with Panamá, and six homes in Alto Conte suffered damage. One was rendered uninhabitable there, according to the Comisión Nacional de Prevención y Atención de Emergencias.

U.S. National Earthquake
Information Center graphic
Star is estimated location of Chrismas Day earthquake just south of Costa Rica.

Vehicle traffic in the area was being restricted due to damage to a bridge over the Río Corredores. A bridge over the Río Colorado was obstructed, the commission said. Landslides and collapses of the roadway were reported between Ciudad Neily and Paso Canoas, which is right on the border with Panamá.

Officials at the Hospital de Ciudad Neilly said 10 persons were treated for injuries due to blows from falling objects in their homes.

Emergency workers from the commission and the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte were in the area since early morning assessing the damage.

Luis Diego Morales, president of the national emergency commission, was philosophical. In a morning press conference he pointed out that the scenic beauty of Costa Rica is accompanied by such events as the earthquake. He urged the nationís citizens to continue to take preventative measures such as keeping fresh  water, canned foods and other survival gear available in their homes in case of a more severe event.

For Wednesday's regular paper, click HERE!
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