5.9 magnitude quake strikes Chile
Thursday 22 Nov 2012 1:09 p.m.
San Antonio, Chile
A strong 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook central Chile on Wednesday, causing office buildings in the capital to sway for almost a minute but authorities said no damage was reported and ruled out the possibility of tsunami along its coast.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake's epicentre was 59km southwest of the port city of San Antonio, Chile. It struck at 6:36pm local time. The USGS had reported the quake as magnitude 6.1 but revised the strength down to 5.9.
Buildings swayed in Santiago and some people fled to the streets in fear. Chile's emergency services office said no damages to infrastructure were immediately reported.
The USGS reported two other temblors with magnitudes of 5.1 and 5.2 on Wednesday near San Antonio.
Chile is highly earthquake-prone and residents have bad memories of other quakes that have caused widespread destruction.
In 2010, a devastating 8.8-magnitude quake, one of the strongest recorded, and the tsunami it unleashed, killed 551 people, destroyed 220,000 homes and washed away docks, riverfronts and seaside resorts. The disaster cost Chile US$30 billion, or 18 percent of its annual gross domestic product.