A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 struck near San Antonio de los Cobres, a town in northwestern Argentina, on Tuesday afternoon local time, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The quake occurred at a depth of 209 kilometers (130 miles) and was felt as far away as Bolivia and Chile.
The epicenter was located about 84 kilometers (52 miles) north-northwest of San Antonio de los Cobres, a mining town with a population of about 6,000 people. The town is situated on a high plateau in the Andes mountains, about 3,700 meters (12,000 feet) above sea level.
According to local media reports, there were no immediate reports of casualties or significant damage from the quake. However, some residents said they felt strong shaking and heard loud noises during the tremor. Some buildings and roads were reportedly cracked or damaged by the quake.
The National Seismic Prevention Institute (INPRES) of Argentina said that the quake was caused by the subduction of the Nazca Plate under the South American Plate along a fault zone known as the Central Andean Subduction Zone. This zone is one of the most seismically active regions in South America and has produced several large earthquakes in recent history.
The USGS said that there is a low likelihood of casualties and damage from this quake due to its depth and location. However, it warned that aftershocks could occur in the next few days and advised people to be prepared for possible emergencies.