Fresh quake hits Chile ahead of national mourning

10:45, March 05, 2010      

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A new 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit northern Chile on Thursday, as the country is about to start a three-day national mourning period for the victims of last week's massive tremor that killed over 800 people.


New quakes and aftershocks continued to shake the Southern American nation after Saturday's quake, one of the strongest recorded.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said on Thursday that a new 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Antofagasta in northern Chile.

It said the earthquake was not related to the one registered on Saturday in the country's central south region. Its epicenter is 87 km northwest of Calama and 1,574 km north of the capital city of Santiago.

The quake can be felt in the northern areas, and triggered panic.

Chile's National Emergency Office said this earthquake brings no risk of tsunami.

Carmen Fernandez, head of the office, said it was not an aftershock of last week's megaquake.

In Calama, schools, businesses and workplaces are closed.

The northern areas affected by the quake is mainly desert. So far no casualties and material damages were reported.

On Wednesday, strong aftershocks of magnitude 5.5 and higher were felt in several cities, including the capital city of Santiago.

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