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Major earthquake strikes off Chile coast; no tsunami threat to Hawaii

  • COURTESY USGS

    A major earthquake struck off the coast of Chile. No tsunami threat was issued for Hawaii.

A major earthquake struck off the coast of Valparaiso, Chile at about 11:38 a.m. Hawaii time today but it was not strong enough to cause a tsunami threat to the state.

The magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck about 22 miles west of Valparaiso and about 85 miles west-northwest of Santiago at a depth of 6 miles, said U.S. Geological Survey officials. Buildings swayed in Santiago, the capital, 70 miles miles to the east.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on Oahu said while there was no threat to Hawaii, small tsunami waves were observed in the coastal regions near the epicenter.

Chile’s emergency services office says no damage to infrastructure has been immediately reported and authorities are discounting the possibility of a tsunami.

Chile is highly earthquake-prone. A devastating 8.8-magnitude quake and the tsunami it unleashed in 2010 killed more than 500 people. It was among the strongest ever recorded.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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