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Strong 7.8-magnitude aftershock strikes near northern Chile day after powerful earthquake

The US Geological Survey has registered a 7.8-magnitude aftershock off the coast of northern Chile. It was the strongest in a series of tremors following a powerful earthquake the previous day.

A tremor shook buildings in the northern Chilean port city of Iquique on Thursday, just a day after a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake had struck the area. The USGS reported the aftershock as a having a magnitude of 7.8.

The report prompted Chile's emergency office to issue a preventative evacuation of the coast. Chile’s navy cancelled a tsunami alert for its coastline issued earlier.

On Wednesday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had issued an alert for the Pacific coastline stretching all the way north to Nicaragua. However, on Thursday it limited the tsunami warning to Chile.

The epicenter of the aftershock occurred 14 miles (23 kilometers) south of Iquique at a depth of 12 miles. It was preceded some 45 minutes earlier by another tremor with a registered magnitude of 6.4.

kms,slk/lw (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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