published Monday, May 20th, 2013

Large earthquake strikes off coast of Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile — The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has struck off the coast of Chile.

The quake was recorded at 5:49 a.m. local time (EDT; 0949 GMT) Monday, at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), some 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the city of Puerto Quellon. No tsunami warning was issued.

Chile is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries. A devastating 8.8-magnitude quake and the tsunami it unleashed in 2010 killed 551 people, destroyed 220,000 homes and washed away docks, riverfronts and seaside resorts. It was so strong it changed time, shortening the Earth's day slightly by changing the planet's rotation.

The strongest earthquake ever recorded also happened in Chile, a magnitude-9.5 in 1960 that killed more than 5,000 people.

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