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Tsunami watch canceled in Costa Rica

Sept. 5, 2012 at 4:41 PM

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- A 7.6 magnitude offshore earthquake rattled Costa Rica Wednesday, U.S. scientists said.

Several hours after the quake struck authorities canceled all tsunami warnings that included Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, The Costa Rica News reported.

There were two deaths, the report said, one from a fall while working and one from a heart attack.

The News said the largest hospital in the region, in Puntarenas, was evacuated after damage to six floors of the facility.

Cellular usage and power were out for large portions of the Central and North Pacific region, the News said, as crews rushed to restore services and check collapsed for structures for anyone who may be trapped.

The report said numerous roads were impassable, and a number of bridges have been reported as damaged or destroyed.

Earlier, strong shaking was reported from the Central Valley, Central Pacific, Northern Pacific and Lake Arenal regions among others, InsideCostaRica.com reported.

Tourists near the coast were being taken to higher ground, the report said. Damages were reported at the University of Costa Rica and some reports said power was out in parts of San Jose.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the preliminary 7.6 magnitude quake was recorded about 95 miles west of San Jose, the Costa Rican capital, and ran more than 28 miles deep. InsideCostaRica.com said local news reported the epicenter just northeast of Samara.

The canceled tsunami watch was in effect for the coastlines of Brazil, Mexico, most countries in Central America, including Chile, and many islands, the USGS said.

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