Monday, 26 December 2016

7.7-Magnitude Quake Strikes Chile


A massive earthquake has struck off the coast of Chile, sparking a tsunami warning.

The 7.7-magnitude quake hit 140 miles southwest of the city of Puerto Montt on Christmas Day, the United States Geological Survey said.

It triggered a tsunami alert from the U.S.-based Pacific warning centre, which affects areas within 620 miles of the quake's epicentre.

The Chilean Navy also issued a tsunami warning - leading to 4,000 people evacuating to higher ground.

The first images to emerge from the aftermath show broken up roads, swinging chandeliers and Christmas decorations including a tree swaying with the ground movement.

People are being warned to expect aftershocks in the hours ahead which can cause building damage and falling debris that could injure.

The quake's depth was about nine miles - and was earlier reported as magnitude 7.6.

Puerto Montt is situated in southern Chile's Lake District, around 655 miles away from the South American country's capital, Santiago.

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet tweeted: "Much strength and encouragement to the compatriots affected by the tremor in Chile and other areas in the south.

"Emergency procedures are already in place."

Chile's National Emergency Office (Onemi) said there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries. Onemi chief Ricardo Toro called on Los Lagos residents to go to safe zones and abandon beaches.

The first tidal waves were expected to arrive at the shoreline in the Los Lagos area at 1 p.m. local time (1600 GMT), Onemi said.

According to media reports, the quake was felt in the southwest Argentine city of Bariloche.

Chile has a long history of deadly quakes, including a 8.8 magnitude quake in 2010 off the south-central coast, which also triggered a tsunami that devastated coastal towns.

The tsumani alert was eased about 90 minutes after the quake struck, said national emergency director Ricardo Toro.

There has so far been no information of loss of life - although several highways have been reported as damaged.

Power was cut to about 22,000 customers, the local electric company reported.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.