6.7-magnitude earthquake in central Chile

The quake took place 42 kilometers (26 miles) NNE of Valparaiso and 112 kilometers (69 miles) NW of Santiago. No tsunami warning issued. No immediate reports of injuries.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a 6.7-magnitude earthquake occurred in the ocean near the coast of central Chile last night, shaking the coastal city of Valparaiso as well as Chile’s capital, Santiago. The quake occurred at 3:50 UTC on April 17, 2012 (11:50 p.m. on April 16, local time) and took place 42 kilometers (26 miles) NNE of Valparaiso and 112 kilometers (69 miles) NW of Santiago. According to AP, an evacuation order was issued along Chile’s coast as a preventative measure, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) did not issue a tsunami alert. The PTWC said:

BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

Here are the particulars of the quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey:

Magnitude 6.7
Date-Time Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 03:50:16 UTC
Monday, April 16, 2012 at 11:50:16 PM at epicenter
Location 32.701°S, 71.484°W
Depth 37 km (23.0 miles)
Region OFFSHORE VALPARAISO, CHILE
Distances
42 km (26 miles) NNE of Valparaiso, Chile
81 km (50 miles) W of Los Andes, Valparaiso, Chile
101 km (62 miles) N of San Antonio, Valparaiso, Chile
112 km (69 miles) NW of SANTIAGO, Region Metropolitana, Chile

Chile is prone to earthquakes. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck central Chile on March 25, 2012, which, according to AP, was “the strongest and longest that many people said they had felt since a huge quake devastated that region two years ago.”

In 2010, the 8.8-magnitude quake caused a tsunami that obliterated much of the coastal downtown of the central Chilean city of Constitucion. The map below shows earthquakes in central Chile since 1990.

Bottom line: According to the USGS, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake shook central Chile last night. It occurred at 3:50 UTC on April 17, 2012 (11:50 p.m. on April 16, local time) and took place 42 kilometers (26 miles) NNE of Valparaiso and 112 kilometers (69 miles) NW of Santiago. An evacuation order was issued along Chile’s coast as a preventative measure, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) did not issue a tsunami alert.

Deborah Byrd

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