Powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.8 strikes near coast of northern Chile

SANTIAGO, CHILE (REUTERS) – A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck near the coast of Northern Chile on Tuesday (Aug 1), the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences said, and some damage and minor landslides were reported in areas near the epicentre, according to local media.

A number of people living near the coast were evacuated as a precaution, according to BNO News. There were no reports of casualties.

   A number of people living near the coast were evacuated as a precaution, with no reports of casualties.
A number of people living near the coast were evacuated as a precaution, with no reports of casualties.PHOTO: USGS

GFZ reported aftershocks of around magnitudes 6.2 and 5.5.

There was no tsunami threat from the earthquake, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

GFZ earlier showed the magnitude as 7, with the quake at a depth of 10km.

Chile is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin which is prone to frequent earthquakes.

In June, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Chile’s mineral-rich northern desert. Damage in that quake was minimal and mining companies in the region had told Reuters their operations had not been affected.

Mine facilities and other infrastructure in Chile are built to withstand extraordinarily large quakes.

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