The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 struck off the coast of Chile on Monday.

The quake was recorded at 5.49 a.m. local time, at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres, some 600 kilometers from the city of Puerto Quellon. No tsunami warning was issued.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said historic data showed that no destructive widespread tsunami threat existed in the area, but given the quake’s strength, localised tsunamis were possible.

Chile is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. A devastating 8.8 magnitude quake and the tsunami it unleashed in 2010 killed 551 people, destroyed 2,20,000 homes and washed away docks, riverfronts and seaside resorts. It was so strong that it changed time, shortening the Earth’s day slightly by changing the planet’s rotation.

The strongest earthquake ever recorded also happened in Chile, a magnitude 9.5 in 1960 that killed more than 5,000 people.


Earthquake shakes Chilean capital October 12, 2012

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