Costa Rica was hit by a 4.3 magnitude earthquake on Saturday morning at 1:23 a.m., only hours after the first earthquake, 4.2 magnitude, interrupted Halloween celebrations across the country. The shaking continued, at various strengths, until nearly 6 a.m.
The earthquakes prevented many residents of Costa Rica from sleeping and pre-empted All Saints Day, a day meant to allow people the chance to remember their deceased loved ones. Many people were so terrified that they ran out of their homes in their pajamas and underwear. Others collected in their local churches in order to await the mass and feast that was set for later in the morning.
Fears of the locals in Costa Rica likely came from the issues they’ve been dealing with since Wednesday from the Turrialba volcano.
Authorities have spent roughly four days evacuating residents to shelters as a precaution, while the volcano spewed ash up to 50 km from its location. It was the biggest volcanic eruption Costa Rica has seen in over 150 years. Still, officials believe this could just be a precursor to larger, more dangerous eruptions.
The National Seismology Network of the University of Costa Rica, however, is trying to put people’s minds at ease.
According to what they told the Costa Rica Star, “these earthquakes originated due to the geological process of local subduction, which means that one edge of a crustal plate moves sideways or down into the mantle of another plate.”
This means the earthquakes that began in Costa Rica on All Saints Day were not in any way related to the volcanic activity coming from the Turrialba Volcano. Yes, the earthquakes were felt very strongly by residents, but that’s because the epicenters were at depths between 6 and 9 kilometers, not because the volcano is expected to do anything more dangerous throughout the day.
As of this moment, there have been no injuries or deaths reported as a result of the earthquakes in Costa Rica. With any luck, it will stay that way.
[ Image courtesy of Yahoo News ]