Magnitude 6.7 earthquake shakes northern Chile

Associated Press

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A magnitude-6.7 earthquake shook buildings and broke some windows in northern Chile on Wednesday, but officials discounted the possibility of a tsunami and reported no major damages.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 4:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m.; 2015 GMT) and was centered 27 miles (44 kilometers) north of Vallenar, Chile.

The quake shook the capital of Santiago, causing office buildings to sway, but was felt most powerfully in the north where state television showed images of scattered groceries at supermarket floors and broken windows at several homes in Vallenar, Copiapo and other nearby cities.

Witnesses described people running from buildings into the streets in panic. Telephone lines were jammed and electricity lines were temporarily down.

But Chile's Emergency Office said no injuries have been reported and damages to infrastructure appear minimal. The oceanographic service discounted the possibility of a tsunami.

Chile is one of the earthquake-prone countries in the world.

A devastating 8.8-magnitude quake, one of the strongest recorded, and the tsunami it unleashed in 2010, killed 551 people, destroyed 220,000 homes and washed away docks, riverfronts and seaside resorts. The disaster cost Chile $30 billion, or 18 percent of its annual gross domestic product.

__

Luis Andres Henao on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LuisAndresHenao

View Comments (4)