Major 6.9-magnitude quake strikes Peru: USGS

Major 6.9-magnitude quake strikes Peru: USGS. [click on image to enlarge map] Lima (AFP) - A major 6.9-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Peru, US experts said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or considerable damage.

The quake hit at 2321 GMT 42 kilometers (26 miles) east-northeast of the town of Tambo at a depth of 101 kilometers on Sunday, according to the US Geological Survey. Centered 467 kilometers (290 miles) southeast of the capital Lima, the quake sent panicked people into the streets of the city of Ayacucho -- home to about 150,000. It was first reported by USGS as a 7.0-magnitude event.

In the capital, however, the quake was felt as a 4.4-magnitude occurrence -- noticed by residents of highrises but not those out and about in the sprawling city of eight million.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cautioned that quakes of this size "sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within 100 kilometers of the earthquake epicenter."

"Authorities in the region of the epicenter should be aware of this possibility and take appropriate action," it added. It was also reported that a
strong 6.4-magnitude quake jolts central Chile: USGS in Santiago (AFP) - Reported a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake jolted central Chile, officials said, though there were no immediate reports of fatalities or serious damage. The quake struck at 6:32 pm (2232 GMT) on Saturday, about 108 kilometers (67 miles) northwest of the capital Santiago, at a depth of 35 kilometers, the US Geological Survey said.

The national emergency office ONEMI said the temblor shook Santiago and five other regions in the South American nation.

More than five million people live in the capital, and the quake shook buildings for 30-40 seconds, causing panic even in a country used to temblors.

"There have been some power outages but no reports of damage to buildings or infrastructure... though this is still preliminary information," ONEMI chief Miguel Ortiz said. The earthquake did not create a tsunami risk, according to the water and oceans service.

Chile is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, and is located in the so-called Ring of Fire area of the Pacific Ocean basin.

An 8.2-magnitude quake in northern Chile in April killed six people and forced a million to leave their homes in the region around Iquique.

And a February 27, 2010 quake that struck just off the coast of Chile's Maule region measured 8.8 in magnitude, making it one of the largest ever recorded.

It killed more than 500 people and inflicted an estimated $30 billion in damages.

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