Chile Earthquake, 6.7 Magnitude, Triggers Tsunami Warning

Image: Chile Earthquake, 6.7 Magnitude, Triggers Tsunami Warning People stay on higher grounds in a tsunami safety zone after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake shook the region, in Iquique city.

Monday, 17 Mar 2014 01:40 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile on Sunday, triggering a precautionary tsunami warning and causing minor damage, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. Geological Survey originally reported that the tremor registered at 7.0 magnitude but later revised the reading. The earthquake occurred at 6:16 p.m. at a depth of 12.5 miles and was 37 miles west of Iquique, Chile.

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Authorities told The Associated Press that more than 100,000 people briefly evacuated along the Chilean coastline as a precaution. 

The Chilean navy said that there was a possibility of a minor tsunami between the northern towns of Arica and Tocopilla, so officials evacuated area residents.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center officials told The Associated Press that there did not appear to be a threat of a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami.

Since then, the area has experienced aftershocks of magnitudes between 4.9 and 5.2.

Chile is one of the most earthquake-prone countries on Earth; a 9.5 tremor in 1960 killed more than 5,000 people. An 8.8-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami in 2010 killed more than 500 people and destroyed roughly 220,000 homes.

The 1960 earthquake impacted residents all over the Pacific Ocean. A tsunami from the earthquake sent a 35-foot wave crashing into Hawaii, destroying buildings and killing 61 people. Waves damaged boats and marinas in Crescent City, Calif., while 1,600 homes were damaged and 185 people died in Japan. 

The Chilean government estimated the damage from the 2010 earthquake cost about $2.5 billion. 

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