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Aftershocks expected following powerful earthquake in Costa Rica

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[audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/09/Panning-Costa-Rica-QA.mp3]

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Costa Rica earlier today. The quake is one of the largest recorded in recent history.

“While at this point I haven’t seen reports of any deaths or damage, I expect to see some coming in,” University of Florida Assistant Professor in Geology Mark Panning said. “It’s an event that happened in an area where we expect to see events like that, but it’s on the large end of events for the region.”

Panning said this area has experienced multiple events in the six-magnitude range and a few in the seven-magnitude range, including a 2009 quake that resulted in 40 casualties.

Panning said while an automatic tsunami warning was issued, the risk of a tsunami occurring is relatively low.

“But tsunamis surprise us,” he said. “If there were any damage, it would be on the west coast of Costa Rica.”

Despite the uncertainty of weather, there is one thing Panning is sure of: there will be aftershocks.

“People in the region need to be prepared for further shaking,” he said.

Emily Miller edited this story online.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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