Monday, November 9, 2015

USGS: 6.8-magnitude natural disaster strikes central Chile, north of capital of Santiago

Chile Earthquake Update 2015: Buildings Sway As Magnitude 6.8 Quake Strikes
by Nicole Hunter

The quake struck in the early morning hours Saturday, at a relatively shallow depth of 37.6 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The epicentre was close to the coast, 47km from the northern city of Ovalle and almost 300km north of Chile's capital Santiago.

There had at first been a warning of a small tsunami issued by Chile's navy, but it was quickly withdrawn.

The quake struck 100 kilometres south-southwest of Coquimbo.

No injury or damages have been reported so far.

In February 2010, an 8.8-magnitude quake off the southern Chilean coast killed more than 500 people and inflicted an estimated $30 billion in damage.

"The situation in the region of the epicenter is now in a state of normality", Ricardo Toro, the head of the emergency services, said in a press conference, cited by AP.

In September, the same area of the country was hit by an 8.3-magnitude natural disaster and tsunami that left 15 dead and over 16,000 homeless. But seismologists said Chile's heavy investment in the structural reinforcement of buildings and its constant refinement of a tsunami alert system helped prevent what would have been a catastrophe in less prepared nations.

That temblor, a powerful Magnitude 8.3, rocked the country and led to 11 deaths, with one million people being temporarily evacuated.
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