A strong earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale struck the offshore Maule Region in Chile today. The tremor was felt at 17:33 UTC, with its epicenter located approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of the coastal city of Constitución.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake struck at a depth of 11.6 kilometers, which is considered relatively shallow. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more surface damage; however, initial reports suggest that the impact on coastal communities has been relatively limited.
Chile’s National Emergency Office (ONEMI) has issued a preliminary report stating that there have been no immediate reports of casualties or significant damage to infrastructure. However, authorities are closely monitoring the situation and have urged residents in the affected areas to remain vigilant and prepared for potential aftershocks.
As a precautionary measure, the Chilean Navy’s Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOA) initially issued a tsunami warning for the coastal regions of Maule, Biobío, and Ñuble. However, the warning was lifted shortly after when it was determined that the earthquake posed no significant tsunami risk.
Chile is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area with intense seismic activity due to the movement of tectonic plates. Earthquakes are relatively common in the country, which has a long history of devastating seismic events. In February 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of central Chile, causing widespread damage and triggering a tsunami that affected coastal towns and cities across the region.
As the situation continues to unfold, authorities are urging residents in the affected areas to stay informed and follow any safety recommendations from local officials.