Earth­quake hits Chile, no deaths re­ported

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

SAN­TI­AGO | A pow­er­ful earth­quake shook south­ern Chile on Sun­day, but there were no im­me­di­ate re­ports of deaths and only mi­nor known dam­age.

The U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey said the mag­ni­tude 7.6 quake struck at 11:22 a.m. near the south­ern tip of Chiloe Is­land, about 25 miles south­south­west of Puerto Quello and at a depth of 22 miles. The area, some 800 miles south of the cap­i­tal of San­ti­ago, is rel­a­tively sparsely pop­u­lated.

Na­tional emer­gency di­rec­tor Ri­cardo Toro told a news con­fer­ence that some 4,000 peo­ple were evac­u­ated for fear of a pos­si­ble tsunami fol­low­ing the quake, but the alert was eased about 90 min­utes af­ter the tem­blor.

“There is no in­for­ma­tion of loss of life,” Mr. Toro said, though he said some high­ways were dam­aged. The lo­cal elec­tric com­pany re­ported that power was cut to about 22,000 cus­tomers.

A much stronger mag­ni­tude 8.8 earth­quake in Fe­bru­ary 2010 gen­er­ated a tsunami and killed 524 peo­ple in Chile.

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