September 22, 2020

Earthquake of magnitude 5 is felt in southern and central Chile without causing damage

An earthquake of magnitude 5 was felt Tuesday at dawn in the regions of Maule, Ñuble and Biobío, in central and southern Chile, with no reports so far of victims or material damage, authorities said.

The telluric movement was recorded at 02.32 local time (05.32 GMT) and its epicenter was located 55 kilometers northwest of the town of Cobquecura (Antofagasta region), off the coast of Chile, and about 430 kilometers south of Santiago, according to the report of the National Seismological Center, dependent on the University of Chile.

The hypocenter, meanwhile, was located 10.8 kilometers deep.

The National Emergency Office (Onemi), for its part, explained that, according to the international scale of Mercalli, which goes from I to XII, the earthquake was perceived with an intensity of grade V in the town of Constitución and in grade IV in Cauquenes and Pellehue, all in the Maule region.

In grade II it was perceived in Iloca, Talca and Vichuquén (Maule region), Chillán and Coelemu (Ñuble region) and Tomé (La Araucanía region.

The Hydrographic and Oceanic Service of the Chilean Navy (SHOA) indicated that the characteristics of the earthquake do not meet the necessary conditions to generate a tsunami off the coast of Chile.

For its part, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) placed the depth of the earthquake 13.4 kilometers below the surface and its magnitude at 5.1 Richter.

That tremor was followed at night by several replicas of magnitudes between 3.3 and 4.2.

In 2020, the strongest tremor that has been recorded was of magnitude 6.7 and occurred on January 19 on the central coast of the country, from the Atacama region to O’Higgins.

Since the colonial period, the country, with 18 million inhabitants, has had at least 80 earthquakes, which in the last 60 years alone have caused 40,735 deaths.

Located in the so-called Pacific Cord of Fire, Chile is considered one of the most seismic countries on the planet.


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