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6.7 quake hits Chile's coast

A 6.7-magnitude earthquake shook cities and towns on Chile's northern coast late Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of damages.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake's epicenter was 15.6 kilometres south-southwest of Coquimbo, and it had a depth of 53 km. It struck at 10:32 p.m. local time.

Chile's National Emergency Office preventatively ordered the evacuation of a stretch of coast near the city of Coquimbo but later called it off.

Authorities said the quake didn't have the characteristics that would generate a tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also discarded a tsunami threat.

The quake was felt strongly in northern Chile where buildings swayed, according to social media and press reports.

Chile's seismological service put the strength of the quake at magnitude 6.8.

Chile is located in the so-called "Ring of Fire," which makes it one of the most seismic countries in the world. An 8.8-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami in 2010 killed 525 people and left 26 missing.



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