South America

Powerful earthquake rattles Chile

A strong 7.1 magnitude earthquake has rattled central Chile. Picture: Twitter

A MAJOR earthquake of magnitude 7.1 has struck off the west coast of Chile, rocking the capital Santiago and generating at least two significant aftershocks.

No major damage was immediately apparent, according to an assessment by Chile’s emergency services. The Chilean Navy and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the quake was not expected to cause a tsunami.

Chile’s state-run Codelco, one of the largest copper mining companies in the world, said its operations were unaffected.

The quake was centred 35 km west of the coastal city of Valparaiso at a shallow depth of 10 km below the seabed, the US Geological Survey said.

Chilean authorities initially ordered a preventative evacuation of the coastal area near Valparaiso, some 97 km west of Santiago, in case of a tsunami, but cancelled it shortly afterward.

A spokesman with the local government in Valparaiso said there were no reports of structural damage s…

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