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7.2-magnitude quake hits offshore Maule, Chile -- USGS

(Xinhua)

08:59, March 26, 2012

MEXICO, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Chilean authorities have ordered for evacuation of people from low-lying coastal areas after an powerful earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale jolted offshore Maule, at 22:37:04 GMT on Sunday.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter, with a depth of 10.00 km, was initially determined to be at 35.1160 degrees south latitude and 72.6580 degrees west longitude.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center ruled out a Pacific-wide tsunami but said a quake of this size may generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a hundred kilometers of the epicenter. It advised local authorities to take preventive measures.

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