Video: Earthquake Rattles Costa Rica

7.6-magnitude quake shakes Costa Rica, triggering tsunami warnings and power outages.

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A strong 7.6-magnitude earthquake shook Costa Rica and its capital San Jose Wednesday morning, generating a tsunami warning and knocking out power throughout the country, the Associated Press reports.

The quake's epicenter was beneath the country's Nicoya peninsula, about 85 miles west of San Jose. Residents of Liberia, about 38 miles north of the epicenter, said the quake lasted for about 30 seconds, according to AP.

The tsunami warning that followed led to the evacuation of more than 5,000 residents along Costa Rica's Pacific coast. The water has since receded and the warning has been lifted, local officials say.

There have been no deaths reported yet as a direct result of the quake, but significant structural damage. Tremors were felt as far north as Managua, Nicaragua.

Costa Rica sits in an area of high seismic activity, a few hundred miles east of the Middle America Trench. At Costa Rica's latitude, one tectonic plate subducts underneath the Caribbean Plate. Over the past 40 years, the surrounding area has experienced about 30 earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater, acccording to the U.S. Geological Survey, though Wednesday's was tied for the strongest magnitude.

The last to cause casualties occured 50 miles northeast of Nicoya in 1973, when 26 died and more than 100 were injured during a 6.5-magnitude quake. The most recent violent quake in Costa Rica at large occurred in 2009, when 40 died in a 6.1-magnitude tremor.

Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter.