Strong earthquake, little damage in northern Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A strong earthquake shook northern Chile early Wednesday, but its epicenter was relatively deep beneath a sparsely populated desert region and there were no reports of serious damage or injury.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.8 quake hit at 3:35 a.m. (0735 GMT), with an epicenter 48 kilometers (30 miles) south-southwest of San Pedro de Atacama and 96.8 kilometers (60.1 miles) below the surface.

Local residents called the Cooperativa radio station to report rock slides and some cuts in electrical service. Emergency officials didn’t immediately report major damage.

The area is a center of mining activity.


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