Chile earthquake: Magnitude 6.7 quake rocks north of country

Tremor causes buildings to shake and sparks tsunami warning

Chiara Giordano
Sunday 20 January 2019 13:35
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A magnitude- 6.7 earthquake hit the coast of north Chile, causing buildings to shake and fears of a possible tsunami.

The quake struck at 10.32pm local time (01.31GMT) about 9.7 miles southwest of Coquimbo, according to the United States Geological Survey.

It reportedly caused homes to rattle, as well as minor damage to old buildings and power outages in the nearby coastal city of La Serena – a popular beach town about 250 miles north of Santiago.

Some were also concerned about the threat of a tsunami, however the quake was a relatively shallow tremor, about 33 miles below surface.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre was quick to announce there was no threat of a tsunami.

Camila Castillo, a receptionist at a hotel in La Serena, said: “It felt very strong...the tourists were very nervous, but nothing serious happened.”

Chilean mining group Antofagasta Plc said operations were continuing as normal at its Los Pelambres copper mine following the nearby earthquake.

The wall of a fire station is seen damaged after an earthquake in Coquimbo, Chile, 19 January, 2019.

Chile, located on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, has a long history of deadly quakes.

In 2010, an 8.8-magnitude quake off the south-central coast triggered a tsunami that devastated coastal towns.

However, death and destruction are limited by strict construction codes especially designed to withstand earthquakes.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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