Magnitude 6.1 natural disaster strikes near Panama-Costa Rica border

An office structure at the end of an abandoned pier a local landmark inclines to the right after an earthquake in Puerto Armuelles Panama Sunday

A strong natural disaster struck a lightly populated area of Panama near its border with Costa Rica on Sunday, causing some wooden porches to collapse and products to shake from store shelves.

The U.S. Seismological Survey (USGS) measured the quake at 6.1 and said it struck at a depth of 37 kilometers (23 miles).

Panamanian authorities said there was no tsunami alert from the quake.

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Puerto Armuelles port happens to be near the epicentre of the quake.

So far no damage has been reported from the second quake, it added.

According to the USGS, the tremor occurred at a depth of about 12 miles (19km).

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Images posted on social media showed simple wooden homes that partially collapsed in rural areas, deep fissures in tightly packed beach sand and entire grocery store shelves that spilled containers of processed food and bottled beverages on the floor. "Everything happened so fast".

It was followed by a smaller 5.4-magnitude quake in Colon province, on central Panama's Caribbean coast, according to the country's National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc).

A 6.1 magnitude natural disaster is considered a "strong" quake, and can cause extensive damage in populated areas. Local emergency services in Canoas said they had no initial reports of damage or fatalities there.

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Panama's firefighting association said on Twitter it had gotten reports of the ground shaking from residents in various regions of the nation, and encouraged quiet.

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