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Quake rattles southern Costa Rica, Panama; no damage reported

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By Reuters

SANJOSE (Reuters) – A magnitude 6.0 quake struck southern Costa Rica on Friday, close to the border with Panama, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damages in the two Central American countries.

The quake’s epicentre was 19 km (11.7 miles) north of the town of Golfito, the country’s southernmost port and a surfing destination. The largest nearby city was David in Panama, some 87 km (54 miles) southwest.

A spokesman for firefighters in Costa Rica said there were only reports of minor damages from fallen objects in homes and businesses near the epicentre.

Jose Donderis, the head of Panama’s civil protection agency, said there were no reports of any damage or injuries in the border area.

The earthquake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.2 but then downgraded, was very shallow, only 19 km (11.8 miles) below the Earth’s surface, which would have amplified its effect.

It was followed by a 4.9 magnitude aftershock half an hour later in the same location.

A magnitude 6.0 quake is considered strong and capable of causing severe damage.

(Reporting by Alvaro Murillo; Additional reporting by Sandra Maler in Washington and Elida Moreno in Panama City; Editing by Toni Reinhold and Sandra Maler)