Strong shaking affects 76,000 people but no tsunami warning is issued

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake has struck offshore Valparaiso, Chile, approximately 69 miles north-west of the capital Santiago, according to RMS.

The maximum intensity of ground shaking in the vicinity of the epicentre was VII (very strong) on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale. This level of shaking can be expected to cause moderate damage to resistant structures and moderate/heavy damage to vulnerable structures.

An estimated 76,000 people were exposed to this level of shaking, whilst close to give million people were exposed to intensity V or stronger shaking, where there is potential for damage to structures to occur, according to USGS.

“Reports from Valparaiso indicate isolated cases of façade damage to old buildings,” said Neena Saith, director of catastrophe response at RMS.  “Power lines were affected in Santiago where light shaking was felt, though no reports of damage have  been received from the capital, as of yet.”

No tsunami warnings were issued -and the Chilean navy’s hydrographic and oceanographic service discounted the possibility of a tsunami – though Chilean authorities issued an evacuation order for around 500 miles of coastline from the city of Concepción north to the town of Tongoy.

The latest earthquake follows a M7.1 quake which occurred 200km south of Santiago on 25 March. The earthquake, which was felt widely throughout central Chile, is expected to cost insurers less than $100m.