Earthquake Hits Chile

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 6.1 earthquake rattled northern Chile Monday afternoon.

The earthquake's epicenter was located about 90 miles east of the town Iquique or just over 900 miles north of the Chilean capital Santiago and was centered about 74 miles below the surface - in the Andes Mountains.

The Andes are a volcanic mountain range on the up-lifting side of two tectonic plates that are converging, or coming together. A deep ocean trench lies just offshore of Chile's Pacific coast. This geological setup is prime for frequent strong earthquakes. According to the BBC, A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the same area in summer 2005, killing 11 people and leaving thousands of people homeless.

The strongest earthquake in the world's record books struck southern Chile. A 9.5 earthquake struck in May 1960 and killed more than 2,000 people and left over 2 million people without homes. The quake also triggered one of the most devastating and widespread tsunamis in history. It swept across the Pacific Ocean from the Chilean coast killing nearly 300 people in Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines and also affected Australia, New Zealand, and Alaska.

There have been no reports of damage or injuries.

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