Magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocks Chile: USGS

Agence France-Presse
(UPDATED) The US Geological Survey originally put the magnitude of the quake at 7.0 but has since revised it to be a magnitude 6.7 quake

SANTIAGO, Chile (UPDATED) – A powerful 6.7-magnitude earthquake jolted Chile’s northwestern coast Sunday, March 16m US geologists said, generating a small tsunami and prompting authorities to evacuate two towns.

The quake struck at 6:16 pm (2116 GMT; 5:16 am of March 17, Philippine time), according to the US Geological Survey, which had originally put the magnitude at 7.0.

Located 60 kilometers (38 miles) west-northwest of the port city of Iquique, the quake was 20km deep, the USGS said in an update. It was followed by a series of aftershocks.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin that “sea level readings indicated a tsunami was generated”. Tsunami wave activity was measured at 28cm (one foot).

“It may have been destructive along coasts within 200 km of the earthquake epicenter,” the center added.

“Danger to boats and coastal structures can continue for several hours due to the rapid currents,” it said.

Chile’s national Emergency Office said an evacuation was ordered for the towns of Arica and Tocopilla due to the threat of a tsunami, though there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage to infrastructure.  –

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