Earthquake hits northern Chile

Chilean mining town of Calama escapes deaths and major damage as 6.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Antofagasta region.

    A strong earthquake has shaken northern Chile's copper mining heartland near Calama, but no injuries or infrastucture and mine damage have been reported, officials said.

    The US Geological Survey said the 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck 88km northeast of the northern city of Calama, at a depth of 111km, on Monday.

    The site of the earthquake, in the heart of the Atacama desert in the Antofagasta region, is home to more than 100,000 people.

    Chile's national emergency office said: "No emergencies have been reported as a result of this quake."

    It added that the earthquake did not pose a tsunami threat to the Chilean coast.

    The Pacific Tsunami warning centre measured the earthquake at 6.6-magnitude, but also said that no destructive widespread tsunami threat existed.

    Tsunamis and an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile's central south in February 2010, ravaging local infrastructure and industries but leaving mines in the far north untouched.

    State miner Codelco, the world's top copper producer, said its Chuquicamata, Radomiro Tomic and Al Abra mines were operating normally after the earthquake.

    Teck Resources also reported no impact at its Quebrada Blanca mine.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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