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Quake rattles far north

Published:Tuesday | May 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM


A magnitude-6.2 magnitude earthquake damaged walls, shattered windows and knocked out electricity in parts of far-northern Chile and the Peruvian city of Tacna but no injuries or major damage were reported.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake, which occurred at 6 a.m. local time (6 a.m. EDT; 1000 GMT), was centred 66 miles (107 kilometres) northeast of the city of Arica 98 kilometres (61 miles) underground. It was also felt in the Peruvian city of Arequipa and in the Bolivian capital of La Paz, 120 miles (200 kilometres) away.

Some neighbourhoods in Tacna, a city of 200,000 66 kilometres (44 miles) from the epicentre, suffered brief power outages, city officials said. Tacna's deputy civil defence chief, Jose Luis Vera, reported broken windows and rocks shaken loose onto highways but no injuries or serious damage.

The Chilean government emergency agency said about 250 people fled into the streets of Arica when the shaking started, but then returned to their homes. Arica's port and airport were functioning normally and Chile's Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service discounted the possibility of a tsunami.