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7.2-magnitude quake hits Chile, no tsunami expected

(Xinhua)

09:00, March 26, 2012

SANTIAGO, March 25 (Xinhua) -- A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit central Chile on Sunday, but there was no risk of a tsunami, allowing Chilean authorities to cancel plans to evacuate residents in low-lying south-central coastal areas.

According to Chile's National Emergency Bureau (Onemi), the quake did not have "the conditions needed to generate a tsunami."

The Onemi report was based on official data from the Chilean Army's Oceanographic Service (Shoa).

Onemi originally called for a preventative evacuation of the coast between the towns of Valparaiso and Biobio, but cancelled the warning after receiving information from Shoa.

The quake hit offshore Maule at 18:37 local time (2237 GMT) with its epicenter at a depth of 10 km.

In 2010, a 8.8-magnitude quake, which hit off the coast of central Chile, triggered a tsunami that devastated several small coastal towns.

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