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Strong quake hits northern Chile

A strong earthquake registering 5.9 on the Moment Magnitude scale hits northern Chile but there are no results of casualties.

world Updated: Jan 05, 2008 13:59 IST

A strong earthquake registering 5.9 on the Moment Magnitude scale hits northern Chile on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, the US government reported.

The US Geological Survey said the epicenter of the tremor, which occurred at 4:29 am (0729 GMT), was located in the Andes, near the country's borders with Bolivia and Argentina.

The closest urban center, the Chilean town of Calama, is located 63 kilometers (39 miles) from the center of the quake, the survey said.
The reading was based on the open-ended Moment Magnitude scale, now used by US seismologists, which measures the area of the fault that ruptured and the total energy released.

A much stronger quake measuring 6.7 struck the same region of northern Chile on December 16.

The tremors were part of a series of quakes that rattled northern Chile in recent months. A deadly 7.7-magnitude earthquake on November 14 killed two people, injured 15,000 and damaged an estimated 4,000 buildings.