Magnitude 6.7 quake hits Chile's coast; no reports of damage

January 19, 2019 - 8:33 pm

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A 6.7-magnitude earthquake shook cities and towns on Chile's northern coast late Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of major damage.

Chile's National Emergency Office preventatively ordered the evacuation of a stretch of coast near the city of Coquimbo but later called it off. Authorities said the quake didn't have the characteristics that would generate a tsunami.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the magnitude-6.7 quake was 15.6 kilometers (9.7 miles) south-southwest of Coquimbo, and it had a depth of 53 kilometers. It struck at 7:32 p.m. local time.

Chile's seismological service put the strength of the quake at magnitude 6.8. It was felt strongly in northern Chile, according to social media and press reports.

Chile is located in the so-called "Ring of Fire," which makes it one of the most seismic countries in the world. An 8.8-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami in 2010 killed 525 people and left 26 missing.

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