Costa Rica Earthquake Death Toll Rises to 14

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/09/2009
Costa Rica Earthquake

The death toll that rocked the online gambling haven of Costa Rica Thursday has risen to 14 people and well over 300 injuries.  10 people are still missing.

Red Cross official Cristian Aase said he expects the death toll to continue to climb.

"We just got a report of another 18 possible deaths in the remote area of Cinchona, but we can't confirm those until we get there," he said. "We also have another 10 missing."

Among the dead are two young sisters killed by a landslide near the city of Alajuela, north of the capital. A woman in the capital, San Jose, died of a heart attack.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the temblor was centered 22 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of San Jose, near the Poas Volcano National Park.

Costa Rica is home to the largest number of online gambling companies, most of which remained online immediately following the earthquake.  Thursday was an especially busy day for the Internet sports betting sites due to the BCS Championship game.  The majority of these firms operator out of newer code-adherent buildings.

 

See video coverage of the Costa Rica earthquake here

 

"The whole building just started shaking," said one sportsbook employee.  "This was the worst one in years here."

And more aftershocks were anticipated throughout the weekend.

Most of the betting sites - a few hundred of them - are scattered throughout the San Jose proper area, within a 30 mile radius of where the quake was centered.

A number of the fatalities occurred near a popular tourist destination near the Poas volcano. 

"There are 10 dead at the La Paz waterfall," Luis Guzman, a Red Cross spokesman told Reuters.

 

The waterfall is located on the flanks of the Poas volcano. About 300 tourists sought shelter for the night in a nearby valley after Thursday's earthquake, officials said.

A few hundred people were trapped at the Hotel La Pa due to inaccessible roads.

A number of older buildings in and around the San Jose area also suffered structural damage.

Centro Colón on Paseo Colón in downtown San José may have suffered serious structural damage to some upper floors, according to AM Costa Rica. Hospital México had almost all of its first floor windows blown out by the quake, and there was damage on other floors. On the third floor there were leaks of oxygen and gas. A team from the hospital and firemen were assessing the damage Thursday afternoon.  The hospital was involved in what administrators called internal evacuation, that is moving patients and staff to secure locations within the building.

Officials confirmed this was the worst earthquake to hit the country in years.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

 

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