Friday, January 09, 2009

Belgian tourists fall 20 metres, survive quake

(AFP/File/Sam Yeh)San Jose (The Earth Times) - A Belgian family survived a 20-metre plunge after a viewing platform from where they were admiring a waterfall collapsed as a strong earthquake shook Costa Rica. Survivor Tina Soterr told Costa Rican daily La Nacion Friday that everything happened very fast at the La Paz waterfalls in the town of Cinchona.

She and her partner were enjoying the scenery with their two children, aged 4 and 9, when the structure collapsed. They survived and were treated for bruises and scratches.

The 6.2-magnitude quake on the Richter scale, rocked Costa Rica Thursday, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 90 others, Red Cross officials said Friday.

Some of these deaths have not yet been confirmed because of the organization's inability to access certain areas.

Hundreds of tourists visit Vara Blanca and Cinchona every day. Residents of the area feared that two Canadians who were hiking when the quake took place may have been killed. At least 300 tourists, many of them foreigners, were cut off in Vara Blanca.

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