Published on : Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Rocking the capital Santiago and briefly causing alarm along the Pacific Coast, a strong earthquake of magnitude 6.9 struck off the west coast of Chile Monday. The earthquake, however, spared the quake-prone nation of any serious damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey twice revised the magnitude before settling on 6.9, a strength usually capable of causing severe damage. The quake was centered about 137 km from Santiago, and some 35 km west of the coastal city of Valparaiso.
Santiago office buildings swayed for about 30 seconds at the end of the workday. The epicenter’s shallow depth of 25 km below the sea allowed it to be felt hundreds of km away.
Officials canceled a tsunami warning that had been issued in Valparaiso. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported small tsunami waves of 15 cm.
There were no reports of structural damage in Valparaiso, but cell phone networks were down in some places, a spokesman with the local government said.
Interior Minister Mario Fernandez said there had been some landslides but “in general the situation is pretty normal bearing in mind the quake’s intensity.”
President Michelle Bachelet was aboard an aircraft flying to the north of the country when the quake was registered, and on landing sent a message of calm and praise.