Saturday, September 18, 2021

Powerful quake rocks central Chile, coastal zone evacuated as precaution

Personas evacúan un edificio después de un fuerte sismo de magnitud 6,9 en la escala abierta de Richter hoy, lunes 24 de abril de 2017, en Santiago (Chile). El sismo afectó a la zona central del país sin que se informara de víctimas pero sí de daños materiales, además de ordenarse una evacuación preventiva del borde costero de las regiones de Valparaíso y O’Higgins. Según el Centro Sismológico Nacional de la Universidad de Chile, el fenómeno se sintió a las 18.38 hora local (21.38 GMT) y su epicentro se situó a 72 kilómetros al oeste de Valparaíso, zona donde en las últimas 24 horas se han sentido más de 100 temblores. EFE/Mario Ruiz

Santiago, Apr 24 (EFE).- A powerful earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale rocked central Chile on Monday causing material damage, although there have been no reports of injuries or worse, and motivating authorities to order an evacuation of the coastal zones of Valparaiso and O’Higgins provinces as a precaution.

According to the University of Chile’s National Seismological Center, the quake struck at 6:38 pm and had its epicenter located 72 kilometers (45 miles) west of Valparaiso, an area in which there have been more than 100 minor temblors in the past 24 hours.

At first, Chilean authorities gauged the quake at 6.7 on the Richter scale, but later that was amended to a reading of 6.9.

The US Geological Survey, however, reported that the temblor measured 7.1 on the Richter scale.

The quake was felt from the Coquimbo region, in the north, to Biobio, in the south, but no changes in the provision of basic services or infrastructure were reported.

Some 34 cities in the country’s central region were affected by the quake.

The Chilean navy’s Oceanographic and Hydrographic Service said that there is no danger of a tsunami, although authorities initially ordered the evacuation of the coastal area anyway as a precaution.

Sixteen minutes after that evacuation order was issued, authorities cancelled it and allowed the people who had begun moving to higher ground to return to their homes.

The Carabineros, Chile’s militarized police, reported that mudslides and landslides had occurred along the international highway leading to the Argentine city of Mendoza, where the quake was also strongly felt, and similar incidents occurred along the Las Palmas roadway near Valparaiso.