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Powerful 6.9 Quake Shakes Central Chile, No Damage Reported

Authorities ruled out the possibility of a tsunami

A powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck off central Chile's coast Monday evening, but there were no reports of injuries or damage and authorities ruled out the possibility of a tsunami.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered in the Pacific about 22 miles (35 kilometers) west of the port city of Valparaiso and hit around 6:40 p.m. Buildings swayed in Santiago, the capital 70 miles (115 kilometers) miles to the east. The USGS revised the quake's magnitude down from an initial reading of 7.1.

Chile's emergency services office said no damage to infrastructure was reported from the quake, which was felt more than 600 miles away in Cordoba province and other parts of neighboring Argentina.

Chile is earthquake-prone. A devastating 8.8-magnitude quake and the tsunami it unleashed in 2010 killed more than 500 people. It was among the strongest ever recorded.

Other strong quakes since then have triggered mass evacuations along Chile's long coast. But seismologists say the South American country's heavy investment in structural reinforcement of buildings has helped reduce the damage from even strong quakes. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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