Earthquake hits Chile, no deaths reported
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.