Strong 6.3-magnitude quake shakes Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake jolted central Chile on Tuesday, though there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage to property, the US Geological Survey reported.

The quake struck at 7:33 pm (0033 GMT Wednesday) 326 kilometers (203 miles) north-northwest of Santiago, according to USGS. It had a depth of 31.5 kilometers.

The quake’s strength and depth however were not powerful enough for a tsunami alert to be issued, the navy’s Water and Oceans Office said.

Chile is located on the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” a seismically turbulent region where many of Earth’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

In the past few years, the South American country has had three huge earthquakes with a magnitude greater than eight.

But Chile is also resilient, thanks largely to its demanding building code. The standard is that buildings must save lives during an earthquake by remaining standing.

The country learned some key lessons from a deadly 8.8-magnitude earthquake that, along with the subsequent tsunami, killed more than 500 people in 2010.

One of the lasting images of the disaster was of low-income housing projects that collapsed like a house of cards because the builder had used steel rebar that was thinner than required.

Lawmakers tightened the rules after that, and builders have set new anti-quake features and technologies.


© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse