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Large quake off Chile poses no tsunami threat to Hawaii


  • A large earthquake has struck off the coast of Chile but did not generate a Pacific-wide tsunami, officials said this afternoon.
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A large earthquake has struck off the coast of Chile but did not generate a Pacific-wide tsunami, officials said Thursday afternoon.

The quake, with a magnitude of 6.6, struck at about 6:04 p.m. near the epicenter (1:04 p.m. Hawaii time) and was centered 40 miles southwest of Coquimbo, Chile, at a depth of about 6 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii,” said officials at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach.

The Associated Press reported that the quake was strong enough to make buildings sway in Chile’s capital of Santiago, about 230 miles to the north-northeast. There were no immediate reports of major damage or deaths.

Chile is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. A magnitude-8.8 quake and the tsunami it unleashed in 2010 killed more than 500 people and destroyed 220,000 homes.

That quake was so strong it changed time, shortening the Earth’s day slightly by changing the planet’s rotation. The strongest earthquake ever recorded also happened in Chile, a magnitude-9.5 in 1960 that killed more than 5,000 people.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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