Major Quake, Chile

A major earthquake struck Chile this morning, the second quake of seventh magnitude to strike South America this year.

Monday 3rd January 2011

A shallow magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck 69 km north-west of Temuco in the Araucania region of Chile (171 km south of Concepcion) at 9:20 this morning New Zealand Daylight Time. The on-shore quake was 17 km deep according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a bulletin for this event at 9:29 advising that, based on historical data, a widespread tsunami threat does not exist.

Today’s earthquake was centred about 300 km south of the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck on February 27th last year. That quake and the associated tsunami killed at least 512 people, injured 12,000 and displaced 800,000. A summary of the event can be found here and here.

This event is the second earthquake of magnitude seven to strike South America in recent days. On January 1st, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck 160 km north-east of Santiago del Estero, Argentina. This event was very deep, at 584 km.

[Compiled from data supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey and its contributing agencies; and the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.]

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