Magnitude 6.9 Quake Shakes Northern Chile

Featured Magnitude 6.9 Quake Shakes Northern Chile

SANTIAGO DE CHILE - A 6.9-magnitude earthquake shook the region of Coquimbo in northern Chile Tuesday, although no casualties or material damage have been reported, official sources said.

According to the National Seismological Centre of the University of Chile, the tremor was felt at 22:54 (01:54 GMT Wednesday) and its epicenter was 89 km (55 miles) west of La Higuera and 32.7 km (20 miles) deep.

Twenty-four minutes later, a new tremor of 4.8 magnitude and its epicenter in La Higuera struck the area.

Another quake of magnitude 5.0 with epicenter once again located west of La Higuera and 538 km (334 miles) north of Santiago, was felt at 20:48 Tuesday (23:48 GMT).

The Chilean Navy Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service said the earthquake did not create any waves in the ocean that could trigger a tsunami.

The Seismological Centre Tuesday registered a total of 33 earthquakes of magnitudes ranging from 2.5 to 6.6, a majority of which occurred in northern Chile.

Experts say these earthquakes are part of a string of aftershocks (over a thousand) following the major 8.4 earthquake that rocked northern and central Chile in September leaving 15 people dead, 6,056 affected, 971 houses destroyed and heavy material damage.

Chile is considered one of the countries most vulnerable to seismic activity and since its colonization has experienced at least 80 earthquakes, which in the last 60 years have left 40,733 dead.

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