January 3, 2011 by staff
Chile Earthquake, (AFP) – A strong earthquake shook the coast of Chile Sunday, disrupt electrical service and communications without hurting anyone, officials said, as feared tsunami led people to seek higher ground.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake of 7.1 magnitude struck at 2020 GMT 69 kilometers (45 miles) north-west of Temuco, Chile, at a depth of 16 kilometers (10 miles).
Chilean National Emergency Office said the quake was “medium intensity” and hit Biobio, O’Higgins and Maule, a region of south-central Chile which was devastated by a 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in February 2010.
The agency’s director Vicente Nunez told reporters that based on initial reports, the earthquake “caused no damage or casualties,” even if there were power outages and interruptions in telephone service.
“It is common in such situations for telephone services to the collapse and there are power outages,” he said.
The earthquake triggering panic, with people fleeing to higher ground in Puerto Saavedra and Tiru for fear of tsunamis, according to Chilean television.
But the Chilean Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department of the Navy dismissed the threat of a tsunami, saying the epicenter was on land and at sea not
A first report of the USGS, the earthquake off the coast, but it has reviewed its conclusions. U.S. officials also dismissed the threat of a tsunami in the Pacific-wide.
“Based on all available data a destructive tsunami across the Pacific is not expected,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin.
“However, earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a hundred kilometers (62 miles) from the epicenter of the earthquake,” he said.
The National Emergency Office said Sunday’s quake was followed nearly two hours later by a moderate reply.
The earthquake was also felt in the region of Patagonia, near the border with Chile, especially in San Martin de los Andes, where dozens of people ran outside the customs building fearing that collapses, the News Agency said Bariloche.
No injuries or damage caused by the earthquake have been reported in Argentina.
Chile is located on the edge of the Pacific Fire and is prone to violent earthquakes. massive earthquake last February triggered a tsunami that swept away entire villages.
The disaster left about 520 dead and caused 30 billion dollars in damage.
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