6.7-strong earthquake hits Chile leaving two dead and thousands without power

SANTIAGO – A strong 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit north-central Chile on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at a depth of 53 kilometers (32 miles) with an epicenter some 15 kilometers southwest of Coquimbo, USGS said.

Two people died from heart attacks and as many as 200,000 were left without power. The quake shook homes and caused landslides.

The earthquake, which hit at 0132 GMT (Sunday), was felt in Valparaiso, O’Higgins and the region of the capital Santiago, as well as in Atacama and Coquimbo up north.

The tremor prompted the authorities to begin a mass evacuation of coastal areas ahead of a potential tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, however, later ruled out the threat.

Chile is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries.

The 1960 Valdivia earthquake in Chile was the strongest quake ever recorded at 9.5 on the magnitude scale, according to USGS.

Earthquake rocks Chile’s Easter Island, but no tsunami

Chile lies on what is known as the Ring of Fire — an arc of fault lines that circles the Pacific Basin and is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.