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Powerful quake hits Chile, sparking tsunami warnings
by Staff Writers
Santiago (AFP) April 02, 2014


A powerful 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit near Chile's Pacific coast on Tuesday, sparking tsunami warnings for Chile, Peru and Ecuador, officials said.

The quake struck at 8:46 pm local time (2346 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles), 83 kilometers from Iquique on Chile's northern coast, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said. The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning.

Chilean authorities -- who registered the quake at 7.9 -- and their Ecuadoran and Peruvian counterparts also issued a tsunami alert after the quake.

"Everyone along our coast should be alert and ready," Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said on Twitter.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also issued a "watch" for Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Chile is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, and a large earthquake has long been expected in the north of the country.

In its evaluation, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a statement: "It is not known that a tsunami was generated.

"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours."

In February 2010, central and southern Chile were hit by a powerful earthquake of 8.8-magnitude followed by a tsunami that devastated dozens of towns.

The quake left more than 500 dead and $30 billion in damage to infrastructure.

The same coastal area has been the scene of numerous quakes in recent days.

On Sunday, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck, followed by at least two moderate aftershocks, USGS said.

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SHAKE AND BLOW
Shallow quake rattles jittery Los Angeles
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A shallow 5.1-magnitude earthquake rocked the Los Angeles area Friday causing power cuts, gas leaks and bursting water mains, and stopping rides at Disneyland. While no injuries were reported, objects fell from shelves and furniture toppled over, according to photos posted on social media, while TV pictures showed a car flipped over by a rockslide. The quake, which hit at 9:10 pm (0410 G ... read more


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