Electricity has been restored to most of this Caribbean port devastated by an earthquake felt as far away as Panama. But there is still a shortage of food and almost no water yet.

A number of people are surviving on coconut milk.Rescue workers continue digging through the rubble for bodies and possible survivors, and hundreds of people in Puerto Limon and neighboring villages huddle outside their damaged homes, afraid to go back.

The aftershocks continue, but they are nowhere as intense as the five big ones that followed Monday afternoon's killer earthquake, which measured 7.4 on the Richter scale and was believed centered in the sea a few miles away.

As of Tuesday night, casualties numbered 79 killed, more than 800 injured and thousands homeless - 50 of the dead in Costa Rica and the rest in Panama's remote Atlantic province of Bocas del Toro.

Puerto Limon took the brunt of the teluric fury because it was so close to the epicenter. About 400 of its homes, most of them old and built of wood, shattered like dry kindling.

The port's 130,000 mostly poor residents - who make a living as stevedores, fishermen or working in nearby banana plantations - appeared devastated.

The quake destroyed bridges and roads all the way to western Panama, making it difficult to assess the extent of deaths and damage. The road to neighboring Batan, for instance, was cracked 9 feet deep in some places.

Radio reports said freight cars had derailed, blocking railroad access to an area normally reachable only by rail, air and sea. The Pan American Highway linking Costa Rica to Panama reportedly was cut by damage to a bridge.