Quake Cuts Power to Central Chile Towns; No Injury Reports

  • USGS says quake measured 7.1 at a depth of 10 kilometers
  • Evacuation order was lifted, with Codelco mines unaffected

Central Chile was struck by an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale that caused blackouts in some coastal areas and shook buildings in capital Santiago. There were no reports of injuries and a coastal evacuation order was lifted almost as soon as it was issued.

State emergency service Onemi reported the “high intensity” earthquake at 5:39 p.m. New York time between the Coquimbo and Biobio regions. The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was about 38 kilometers (24 miles) off the cost of Valparaiso at a depth of 10 kilometers.

There were no reports of serious damage, Onemi said on its website, although power supply was cut in the towns of Concon, Mantagua and Quintero. A preventive evacuation between Valparaiso and O’Higgins was lifted after the navy said the event didn’t pose tsunami risks.

Chile, the world’s biggest copper producer, is also one of the most earthquake-prone nations in the world. It was hit by an 8.8-magnitude quake in 2010 and in 1960 recorded the largest ever on Earth, according to the Geological Survey.

Most of Chile’s large copper mines are in the far north of the country. State-owned producer Codelco said Monday that its mines were running normally after the quake and that it didn’t evacuate a smelter in the affected area.

A series of aftershocks were registered after the main quake.

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