Chile hit by 7.2 magnitude earthquake

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Washington, Jan 3 (ANI): A 7.2 magnitude earthquake has been detected in the Pacific near the central coast of Chile, US authorities have said.

News 24 quoted the US Geological Survey as saying that the earthquake occurred at 20:20 GMT on Sunday, offshore the Bio-bio region in central Chile.

The earthquake occurred at a depth of 33 kilometres.

"No destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data. However, earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a 100km of the earthquake epicenter," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

Chile lies on the Pacific rim of fire and is prone to violent earthquakes. In February last year it was hit by a massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake, which triggered a huge tsunami sweeping away entire villages.

The disaster left around 520 people dead and caused an estimated 30 billion dollar damage. (ANI)

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