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Earthquake of magnitude 6.8 strikes northern Chile, causing power cuts

Earthquake of magnitude 6.8 strikes northern Chile, causing power cuts

An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 has struck in northern Chile.

The powerful tremor hit the region of Antofagasta around 3.40am, causing several towns to lose power.

Video taken inside a temporary office building at a mining site showed objects moving around and street lights outside swaying back and forth.  

One photo showed what purported to be a crack in the wall of a local hospital following the quake.

Other CCTV footage showed telephone poles and buildings rocking back and forth as the tremor passed. 

However, there have been no reports of major damage or casualties so far.

The Antofagasta regional government said the town of Toconao and the Ayllu de Solor neighbourhood in the city of San Pedro de Atacama were left without power.

Power was restored to the neighbourhood around half an hour later while workers were still trying to repair power cables in Toconao.

Chile is prone to powerful earthquakes because it sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire – a chain of very active seismological zones that circles the Pacific Ocean.

Off the coast of Chile is where the Nazca tectonic plate meets the South American tectonic plate.

The Nazca plate is subducted – or submerged under – the South American plate, creating pressure that is sometimes relieved in the form of earthquakes.


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