Magnitude 6.2 earthquake hits northern Chile, no damage reported

Source: Reuters - Sat, 22 Mar 2014 17:26 GMT
Author: Reuters
People wait in a tsunami safety zone after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake shook Iquique in northern Chile March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Cristian Vivero
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(Adds confirmation that Collahuasi unaffected by quake and mentions other mines in the area)

WASHINGTON/SANTIAGO, March 22 (Reuters) - A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the northern coast of Chile on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The quake was located 63 miles (101 km) northwest of the copper-exporting port of Iquique and had a depth of 7.1 miles (11 km), the USGS said.

Aftershocks of 5.2 and 5.5 magnitude were reported in the same area.

Chile's ONEMI emergency office said it had received no reports of damages and that basic services were operating as normal.

There was no immediate threat of a tsunami, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Chile's massive mines are clustered in the mineral-rich north.

Operations continued as usual at Collahuasi, Glencore Xstrata and Anglo American's copper mine, a spokeswoman said.

Teck Resources and BHP Billiton - the respective owners of copper mines Quebrada Blanca and Cerro Colorado - could not be reached for comment on mine operations.

Earthquakes are frequent in the region and generally do not cause damage.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Felipe Iturrieta; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Gunna Dickson)

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