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Strong earthquake strikes off central Chile

Strong earthquake strikes off central Chile

Powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake has struck off central Chile, some 35 kilometers west of the coastal city of Valparaiso, USGS reports.

The quake struck at a depth of 10.0 km, according to the US Geological Survey, which initially measured the tremor at 6.7 magnitude.

Following the earthquake which struck at 6:38 pm local time, the National Emergency Office (Onemi) stopped short of ordering a precautionary evacuation along the coastal regions of Valparaiso and O’Higgins, saying the quake does not “meet the conditions necessary to generate a tsunami on the coast of Chile.”

According to the Mercalli intensity scale used for measuring the strength of an earthquake, greater jolts was felt between the regions of Coquimbo and Biobio, Onemi announced. Some of the regions registered a potency of VII points meaning that the power released by the quake could result in damage to the buildings.

The strong quake shook buildings in the capital Santiago, according to witnesses, who however, reported no immediate casualties or damages.