East Hawaii News

No Pacific-Wide Tsunami From Earthquake in Chile

January 30, 2013, 10:47 AM HST
* Updated January 31, 11:34 AM
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***Updated at 11 p.m. with additional information.***

An earthquake that struck this morning on the central coast of Chile did not generate a Pacific-wide tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

The 6.7-magnitude quake occurred at 10:15 a.m. Hawaii time at a depth of about 30 miles, according to information from the center based in Ewa Beach on Oahu.

Its epicenter was 63 miles south-southwest of Copiapo, a town of less than 10,000 people 40 miles from the coast. It was also located 127 miles north-northeast of the port city of Coquimbo, which has a population of more than 400,000.

Chile’s last strong earthquake came on Nov. 14, 2012. It had a magnitude of 6.1 and struck 55 miles north of Coquimbo. No large tsunami was generated.

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Chile was the location of a 9.5-magnitude earthquake in 1960 which generated a tsunami that devastated Hilo and killed 61 on the Big Island.

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That tremor has been described by the US Geological Survey as the world’s strongest earthquake on record.

Chile is prone to earthquakes as a result of tectonic forces. Scientists say the Nazca Plate is subducting, or moving under, the South American Plate at the Chilean Trench at a rate of nearly three inches per year.

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