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Costa Rica endures strong earthquake; two deaths reported in national park

January 8, 2009 |  5:10 pm

Scarlet macaws are among the many beautiful critters found in Costa Rica's national parks.

Two children who sold candy to tourists inside a national park in Costa Rica were killed today when a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Central American nation.

The quake, whose epicenter was about 20 miles north of the capital city of San Jose, also injured several others.

The two girls were buried in a landslide within Poas National Volcano Park, Reuters news agency reported.

Several buildings in San Jose were damaged and local television footage showed buildings with shattered windows and damaged walls. There were no reports of widespread injuries.

Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty and abundance of wildlife, luring visitors from around the world. I've been there many times but only once was I concerned about natural disasters: while fishing Lake Arenal while its namesake volcano burped out rocks and rained ash upon my group.

My condolences to the victims' families and good wishes to anyone affected by the earthquake.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Scarlet macaws are among the many beautiful critters found in Costa Rica's national parks. Credit: Ron Magill

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