6.4 Quake Hits Chile No Tsunami

SANTIAGO — A strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Chile on Wednesday off the south-central coast, in an area hit by a deadly temblor last year, the US Geological Survey said.

The tremor caused panic in some communities but there were no immediate reports of deaths or major damage, and there were no tsunami warnings from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii.

USGS said the quake struck at 1255 GMT at a depth of 15 kilometers (nine miles), off the coast of the Bio Bio region and some 96 kilometers (60 miles) west of the city of Concepcion. The region was badly damaged in a deadly 8.8-magnitude quake that struck Chile on February 27, 2010.

The agency originally reported a magnitude of 6.4 for Wednesday’s quake, but downgraded it to 6.2.

A moderate 5.1-magnitude aftershock — originally reported as 5.4 — followed about 50 minutes later.

“There have been no reports of injuries, disruption of basic services or damage to infrastructure as a result of this earthquake,” the national office of emergencies Onemi reported.

According to news reports, people panicked in the coastal town of Lebu, just seven kilometers (four miles) from the epicenter, and residents ran from their homes.

Fears remain fresh from last year’s quake, which was followed by a tsunami that raked coastal communities. That disaster killed at least 524 people, left 220,000 homeless and caused an estimated $30 billion in damage.