Earthquakes in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica there are partly large earthquakes with strengths of more than 7.0, which cause damages within a radius of over 100 kilometers. Due to the special tectonic situation of the country, there are more earthquakes than average.

Since 1950 more than 190 people have been killed by direct consequences of earthquakes. 4 earthquakes also caused a subsequent tsunami, which claimed further lifes and damages.

Other natural hazards in Costa Rica:
The most severe natural disasters worldwide

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Most recent events

This list includes the strongest earthquakes recorded in or around Costa Rica by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in the past 14 days. Whether an event is listed here depends largely on its magnitude, but also on its distance from inhabited areas. All data refer to the local time. This page is updated daily at 11am UTC.

  • May 20, 4:44 am
    Magnitude 4.4: 21 km west of Jacó at a depth of 11.05 km.
  • May 20, 12:32 am
    Magnitude 4.3: 97 km west-southwest of Masachapa, Nicaragua at a depth of 10 km.
  • May 19, 6:22 am
    Magnitude 4.0: 18 km north of Santa Clara, Panama at a depth of 10 km.
  • May 16, 12:40 am
    Magnitude 4.6: 79 km southwest of Masachapa, Nicaragua at a depth of 35 km.
  • May 13, 4:27 pm
    Magnitude 3.4: 3 km east-northeast of Ticuantepe, Nicaragua at a depth of 5 km.
  • May 11, 1:22 am
    Magnitude 3.8: 18 km west-northwest of San Isidro at a depth of 10 km.

Earthquakes in Costa Rica since 1950

The strongest earthquake in Costa Rica happened on 10/05/1950 in the region Costa Rica-Nicaragua with a magnitude of 7.7 on the Richter scale. The earthquake also triggered a tsunami with further victims and destructions.
DateRegionDepthMagnitudeDeathsTotal damage
11/13/2017Jaco8 km6.52
12/01/2016Paraiso, Turrialba38 km5.30
09/05/2012Nicoya7 km7.62
01/08/2009La Paz35 km6.123
05/26/2008Panama-Costa Rica33 km5.60
11/20/2004San Jose, Parrita, Quepos22 km6.48
07/10/1993Turrialba, Cartago58 km5.82
08/09/1991Cartago49 km4.70
04/22/1991Limon, Pandora51 km7.687
12/22/1990Alajuela, Santiago De Puriscal54 km5.72
06/08/1990Santiago De Puriscal50 km4.60
03/25/1990Puntarenas, San Jose55 km7.00
07/03/1983San Jose23 km6.22
04/03/1983Se, Panama1 km7.36
04/14/1973Tilaran, Arenal, Rio Chiquito 6.526
09/01/1955Costa Rica 5.810
12/30/1952Costa Rica 0.029
10/05/1950Costa Rica-Nicaragua31 km7.70

These statistics are based on datas from the National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS): Significant Earthquake Database. doi:10.7289/V5TD9V7K. Several data have been summarized and translated.
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