Costa Rica is battling to find survivors in one of the strongest earthquakes to hit Costa Rica in 150 years.

Rescuers are intensifying their searches in highland areas of central Costa Rica after a powerful earthquake that left at least 19 people dead.

Many homes have been destroyed and rescuers are still looking for survivors north of the capital San Jose.

According to the Red Cross, 19 people have died and there are still many others believed to be buried in the landslides. At least 40 people are missing and many have ran elsewhere seeking refuge.

A state of emergency has been declared by the Costa Rican government in San Jose and surrounding areas, including Cartago, Alajuela and Heredia.

Many parts of its capital have been left without electricity and many homes and roads have been damaged.