Southern Costa Rica Gets New Monitoring Stations Due to Increased Earthquake Activity

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The southern region has the highest seismic hazard in Costa Rica, as it is very close to the so-called “triple point” of convergence of the plates of the Caribbean, Nazca and the Cocos, according to the specialists of the National Seismological Network (RSN: UCR -ICE).

    Therefore 30 new monitoring stations will be installed in the coming weeks.

    In that area there are local fissures and an area of ​​subduction exists beneath the Osa Peninsula, similar to the Nicoya Peninsula, said Lepolt Linkimer Abarca, coordinator of the RSN.

    The latest events confirm it. From only May 14 to 20, nine earthquakes occurred with magnitudes ranging between 3.3 and 4.4 Mw, with epicenters in the fracture zone of Panama. The strongest quake in that area this year occurred during Holy Week, with a magnitude of 5.0.

    These conditions produce many and frequent earthquakes in that area; the last registered greater than 7.0 were in 1904, 1934, 1941 and 1983. Nevertheless, these earthquakes did not cause much damage because the population is spread out, Linkimer said.

    Another region where there is a high concentration of earthquakes is in the South of Carthage, originated in the Aguacaliente fault system, according to a research by the RSN. These fissures provoked an earthquake in Cartago in 1910, which caused more deaths.

    “This is a very active area. Small quakes with magnitudes less than 3.6 occur there, but near places heavy inhabited,” said Linkimer. In this case, the movements are concentrated in Orosi, Tobosi and San Cristóbal de Desamparados

    Swarm of tremors

    Esparza has also submitted a swarm of tremors, which began March 31 and continues, with earthquakes of magnitudes between 1.6 and 3.1 and one of 4.4 moment magnitude (MW), which occurred on April 25. Seismologists believe that these movements are associated with a Canyon fault system, the closest to the epicenters and is active.

    Linkimer said the RSN team reinforced the detection and location of earthquakes, in order to achieve greater coverage and efficiency in monitoring seismic activity.

    For this they will install 30 new seismic stations in the coming weeks, so altogether the RSN will have installed 90 stations. “We will strengthen the detection of earthquakes throughout the country, mainly in the central area, where there is the highest concentration of population,” said the seismologist.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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