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6.5 magnitude earthquake hits northern Chile: GFZ

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SANTIAGO (Reuters) – The German Geosciences Center, the GFZ, said that a 6.5-magnitude earthquake at a depth of 44 km hit northern Chile on Friday.

Chile’s National Emergency Office said it did not monitor any immediate damage to people, basic services, or infrastructure. Her technical team was monitoring the situation.

The epicenter was midway between the cities of Calama, Antofagasta and Iquique in the Norte Grande region of Chile that includes some of the country’s largest mines, including the state-owned mining company Codelco in Chiquicata and Tech Resources Quebrada Blanca in Vancouver.

The Chilean Navy Hydrographic and Oceanography Service (SHOA) said that no conditions were met to generate a tsunami.

Chile is the largest producer of copper in the world and conducts most of its large operations in the Antofagasta region, about 88 kilometers (54 miles) northeast of the epicenter, according to the European Mediterranean Seismic Center (EMSC). Mining facilities and other infrastructure in Chile are built to withstand large earthquakes.

Footage circulated on social media from surveillance cameras and local residents showed intense shaking for at least a minute.

Surveillance networks reported several smaller aftershocks following the first earthquake.

The earthquake is one of a large number of earthquakes that have struck northern Chile in the past 11 days, starting with one of 6.8 with its epicenter near the port city of Huasco, midway between the regional capital of La Serena and Copiapo on September 1. Coquimbo, a little further south, on Saturday.

Covered by Akreti Bhalla in Bengaluru and Islin Ling in Santiago; Edited by Alex Richardson and Angus MacSwane

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