Thousands flee as strong earthquake shakes Chile

Posted Feb 11, 2011 by Leo Reyes
A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 rocked Chile Friday sending thousands of people fleeing to higher grounds for fear of a tsunami along the country's coastal areas.
BBC News reported the magnitude of the earthquake at 6.8 but the US Geological Service (USGS) preliminary report had it at 6.1
Electricity and phone service were disrupted and thousands of people fled to higher ground following Friday's quake, but the government quickly announced that there was no risk of a tsunami, and there were no reports of damage or injuries, AP/Yahoo News reports
In the following hours, a dozen aftershocks ranging from magnitude-3.9 to magnitude-6.3 shook the seismically active area, the report said
President Sebastian Pinera appealed for calm and praised his government and Chileans in general for responding quickly, the report added.
"Today we're better prepared," Pinera said. "I think we've learned the lesson of Feb. 27, 2010."
Last year, a stronger earthquake shook Chile, killing more than 500 people and leaving 200,000 homeless. The 8.8 quake which also occurred in the month of February triggered a tsunami which caused the most casualties because of its strength.
There has been no report of casualties yet. Likewise no tsunami occurrence has been reported.