Magnitude 7.2 quake hits central Chile

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 25, 2012 7:18 PM
Magnitude 7.2 quake hits central Chile

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit central Chile on Sunday, shaking buildings in the capital of Santiago and the government emergency agency, ONEMI, said it was preventively evacuating some areas of the coast.

The quake struck 64 miles west north west of the town of Talca at a depth of 6.2 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Magnitude 7.0 quakes or greater are capable of causing widespread, heavy damage.

ONEMI said, however, that the quake was not expected to generate a tsunami off the coast.

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

The central area is home to some important copper mines, but the bulk of output in the world's top copper exporting nation is concentrated in the far northern region.

(Reporting Alexandra Ulmer in Santiago and Alonso Soto in Brasilia)

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