Argentina rattled by two earthquakes

Western Argentina has been rattled by two moderate earthquakes that emphasised the region’s seismic volatility but left no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The first quake, of 4.6 magnitude, struck in the early hours just south-west of the town of San Juan.

The National Institute for Earthquake Prevention says the epicentre was at a depth of 117 kilometres, while the US Geological Survey (USGS) registered the depth at 96 kilometres.

The second tremor, a stronger 5.3 magnitude quake, occurred 660 kilometres to the north, in uninhabited woodland near the village of Juan Bautista Alberdi, along the same Andes range.

The later quake was at a depth of 28 kilometres, according to the USGS.

The quakes were among several to hit South America and the Caribbean in recent days, and came one week after a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, levelling the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

The Haitian Government says number of confirmed deaths from the Haiti quake has risen to 75,000, while 250,000 were injured and 1 million left homeless.

The town of San Juan has been hit several times in the past, the worst being in 1944 when 8,000 people were killed by a 7.4 magnitude upheaval.

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