Friday, January 09, 2009

Quake death toll rises to 16, likely to climb even more

(AFP/Yuri Cortez)(Tico Times) - At least 16 people are dead, including three children, after a magnitude-6.2 earthquake rocked Costa Rica's populous Central Valley Thursday, triggering deadly landslides and causing widespread destruction.

Official counts of the dead and injured fluctuated wildly throughout the day. Late Friday afternoon, however, the CNE released a statement saying 16 people were confirmed dead:

-Two sisters ages 4 and 7 were buried by a landslide
-Six others were buried in a soda , or small restaurant
-Two were found dead near the La Paz waterfall
-Two died when a Pipasa chicken delivery truck they were riding in fell down a ravine
-Four died in the community of Fraijanes.

In addition, the following deaths were not included in Friday's press release: an elderly woman that died of a heart attack in San Jose and a 12-year-old girl that was killed in a landslide.

The epicenter of the earthquake – which struck at 1:19pm (CST) – was 10 kilometers east of Poas Volcano and 6 kilometers below the Earth's surface, according to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI).

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