A 6.4-magnitude quake rattled central Chile on Friday, shaking buildings in the capital, but authorities said there were no immediate injuries or damage to infrastructure or mines reported. Chile’s emergency office Onemi called it a “major” seismic event, and said it was evaluating whether any damage had taken place. The US Geological Survey said the epicenter of the quake was about 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Talca and around 119 miles south of Santiago, at a depth of about 56 miles.
The quake did not meet the requirements to generate a tsunami off the coast, the Chilean navy said. Most of the copper mines in Chile, the world’s biggest copper exporter, are in the north of the country, far from the epicenter. The main exception is Codelco’s El Teniente copper mine, which is located around 50 miles south of Santiago. A Codelco spokeswoman said operations at the mine had not been affected.
Situated on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” Chile runs along a seismic zone where tectonic plates rub up against each other. It is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world, and in 1960, was hit by a 9.5-magnitude quake, the strongest in recorded history.
The biggest quake to hit Chile in recent years was an 8.8-magnitude tremor that struck the central-southern region in 2010, triggering a tsunami and killing more than 500 people.
Practice drills are frequent in Chile and builders follow strict construction codes, which help to limit death and destruction when tremors hit.