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Strong 7.8 magnitude quake hits off northern Chile -USGS

Source: Reuters - Thu, 3 Apr 2014 03:13 GMT
Author: Reuters
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People line up outside a store after an earthquake and tsunami hit the northern port of Iquique April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
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April 3 (Reuters) - A strong 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off northern Chile late on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake, the largest of a series of aftershocks following a powerful and deadly 8.2 magnitude quake that hit a day earlier, was located 12 miles (19 km) south of the port of Iquique at a relatively shallow depth of 12.4 miles (20 km), the USGS said.

It was earlier reported as a 7.4 magnitude quake.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no widespread tsunami threat, but that the latest tremor could generate a local tsunami.

Chile's emergency office said it ordered a preventative evacuation of the coastal area.

There were no immediate reports of injury or damage.

(Reporting by Eric Walsh in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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