Strong Quakes, Chile

A series of three strong earthquakes struck Chile early this morning, New Zealand time.

Friday 12th March 2010

A burst of strong earthquake activity struck Chile this morning when three quakes with magnitudes between 6.0 and 6.9 struck a region known as Libertador O’Higgins over a period of less than half an hour.

The activity began with a magnitude 6.9 earthquake at 3:40 a.m. New Zealand Daylight Time. Fifteen minutes later a magnitude 6.7 quake struck, followed by a magnitude 6.0 event at 4:06 a.m. All three events were shallow, at depths between 11 and 32 km, located 140 km south of the Chilean capital Santiago, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre reported the largest event as magnitude 7.2 at a depth of at a depth of 10 km. The bulletin advised that a widespread tsunami threat did not exist, based on historical data.

These earthquakes were closer to the Chilean capital than the massive magnitude 8.8 quake of February 27th which was located 330 km south-west of Santiago. The magnitude 6.9 or 7.2 quake is the strongest aftershock recorded for the Chilean sequence so far.

[ Compiled from data supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey and their contributing agencies, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre. ]

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