Magnitude 6.2 quake hits northern Chile

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck northern Chile on April 15, 2017.
A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck northern Chile on April 15, 2017.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM USGS

SANTIAGO (AFP) – An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale shook northern Chile on Saturday (April 15), according to the United States Geological Survey, but there was no tsunami alert and no immediate report of damage or injuries. 

The powerful quake, at a depth of 135 kilometers, hit at approximately 5.19 am (4.19pm Singapore time) with an epicenter about 67 kilometers southeast of the San Pedro de Atacama tourist zone, US seismologists said. 

Chile’s National Office of Emergency said the “medium-intensity” quake was felt in the northern regions of Tarapaca, Antofagasta and Atacama. 

Chile lies on what is known as the “Ring of Fire” – an arc of fault lines that circles the Pacific Basin and is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. 

The north of the country was struck by an 8.3 temblor followed by a tsunami in September 2015, killing 15 people. A coastal evacuation order had limited the number of casualties. 

In 2010, another quake measuring 8.8, also followed by a tsunami, struck the center and south of the country, killing more than 500 people.