Sunday, January 2, 2011

Major 7.1-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile — A magnitude-7.1 earthquake shook southern Chile on Sunday, prompting tens of thousands to flee the coast for higher ground amid fears it could generate a tsunami like the one that ravaged the area last year.

There were no reports of deaths or damage, and Vicente Nunez, head of the National Emergency Office, said no tsunami alert was issued.

"There has been no harm to people, no harm to property," Nunez said. "We will continue monitoring."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii also said a destructive Pacific Ocean-wide tsunami was not expected.

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