The magnitude-7.6 earthquake that rocked Costa Rica on Sept. 5 caused damage estimated at $45 million, President Laura Chinchilla said Tuesday.
She told a press conference that the losses occurred mainly in the Pacific coast provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas and included homes, schools, hospitals, highways, electric infrastructure and aqueducts.
Chinchilla said that 50 percent of the losses were registered in health sector infrastructure, but she added that all the affected hospitals and clinics are covered by insurance, which is "a great relief" to the government.
The president said that no later than next week she will sign a national emergency decree with the aim of facilitating the transfer of funds for reconstruction in the affected areas and that help in that task will be received from China, although she did not put a figure on the value of that assistance.
She thanked the citizens who have cooperated with the so-called "Fuerza Costa Rica" campaign via which funds have been collected to help out those affected by the quake.
The temblor had its epicenter on Costa Rica's northern Pacific coast and caused moderate damage to about 200 homes, public buildings, schools and health centers.
The only known fatality that could be linked to the quake was a 55-year-old woman who died of a heart attack.
Since the quake, authorities have registered about 2,000 aftershocks, the strongest of which was a magnitude-5.4 temblor on Sept. 8., but none of them have caused any damage. EFE