Big Quake Hits Chile This Weekend; No Major Damage

A major earthquake hit central Chile on Sunday, shaking buildings in the capital of Santiago and prompting residents to run out of their houses, though there were no initial reports of injuries or serious damage.

Locals fled their homes as the tremor rattled television sets, kitchen cabinets and tables in Santiago, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The magnitude 7.2 quake struck 64 miles (103 km) west north west of the town of Talca at a depth of 6.2 miles (10 km), the US Geological Survey said.

The government emergency agency, ONEMI, initially said it had ordered evacuations of some coastal areas as a precaution, but later revoked the decision. The quake was not expected to generate a tsunami off the coast, it added.

Chilean state copper giant Codelco said after the quake that operations were normal at its Andina mine and its El Teniente deposit, which is located nearer the epicenter. Together, the two mines produce about 635,000 tonnes of copper annually.

The country’s top oil refinery, Bio Bio, also said operations were normal after the tremor.

The latest earthquake hit near the same central region that was struck by a massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake in 2010 and sparked tsunamis that killed about 500 people.

The quake caused roughly $8 billion in insured losses and economic losses of at least twice that.

Read more on the Buenos Aires Herald.

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