Costa Rica quake toll rises to 20, leaves thousands homeless

January 11th, 2009 - 8:13 am ICT by IANS  

San Jose, Jan 11 (IANS) The toll in Thursday’s devastating earthquake in Costa Rica has risen to 20, while thousands of people lost their homes in the aftermath, EFE reported.The rescue work has been intensified after more bodies were found in the quake-affected areas of the Andean nation, the report said Saturday.

The earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale Thursday jolted Costa Rica as well as the neighbouring Nicaragua.

Five bodies were found buried under rubble Saturday, while another body was found inside a truck that crashed down a ravine in a landslide, rescue officials said.

Some 1,500 people have been shifted to 11 temporary shelters built by the government for temporary relief, officials said.

Around 30,000 people had no access to drinking water as several aqueducts and a dam were damaged in one of the quake-affected areas, they added.

Nearly 800 people living in the villages were cut off from the outside world as the access roads have been destroyed, rescue workers said.

According to a Red Cross report, 43 people are still missing, while dozens injured or hospitalised after the quake.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in a mountainous area in central Costa Rica, some 60 km west of San Jose. The quake was felt in most parts of the country.

Emergency officials said buildings and properties of people were damaged at many places in the country after the quake.

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