Magnitude 7.0 quake hits off Chile's North coast, no damage

by Reuters
Sunday, 16 March 2014 22:12 GMT

(Adds details on quake, evacuation)

Santiago, March 16 (Reuters) - A strong quake struck off northern Chile on Sunday evening, triggering a preventive evacuation of part of the coastal area but apparently not causing any injuries or damage.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake was centered 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Iquique and hit at a depth of 21 miles (32 km), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami expected.

But Chile's navy said there was a possibility of a minor tsunami between the northern towns of Arica and Tocopilla, so authorities ordered a preventive evacuation of part of the coastline after the quake.

The ONEMI emergency office said that preliminarily no damage or injuries had been reported.

(Reporting by Peter Cooney; and Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Jim Loney and Chris Reese)

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