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5.3 quake rattles south

Published:Friday | January 6, 2012 | 12:00 AM


A moderate 5.3-magnitude earthquake rattled the southern coast of the Dominican Republic just before dawn yesterday, resulting in cracks in several buildings but no injuries or evacuations.

The US Geological Survey said the quake's epicentre was six miles (10 kilimetres) deep in San José de Ocoa province, 34 miles (55 kilometres) west of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti.

The pre-dawn temblor sent hundreds of jarred islanders running out of buildings in the Dominican Republic, located near the intersection of the Caribbean and North American tectonic plates.

Civil defence official Alberto Pinales said minor cracks were reported mostly in houses and public buildings in San José de Ocoa, also the name of the province's capital city.