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5.9-magnitude quake strikes Chile

Source : AP
Last Updated: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 00:00 hrs

A strong 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook central Chile on Wednesday, causing office buildings in the capital to sway for almost a minute but authorities said no damage was reported and ruled out the possibility of tsunami along its coast.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake's epicenter was 37 miles (59 kilometers) southwest of the port city of San Antonio, Chile. It struck at 6:36 p.m. local time. The USGS had reported the quake as magnitude 6.1 but revised the strength down to 5.9.

Buildings swayed in Santiago and some people fled to the streets in fear. Chile's emergency services office said no damages to infrastructure were immediately reported.

The USGS reported two other temblors with magnitudes of 5.1 and 5.2 on Wednesday near San Antonio.

Chile is highly earthquake-prone and residents have bad memories of other quakes that have caused widespread destruction.

In 2010, a devastating 8.8-magnitude quake, one of the strongest recorded, and the tsunami it unleashed, 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.

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




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