5.9 quake hit Chile

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A moderate earthquake measuring 5.9 hit northern Chile early on Saturday in the region's latest seismic activity after last year's 8.8 magnitude quake, US seismologists said.

The quake struck at 6:59 am (1059 GMT) and was centered about 135 kilometres (84 miles) north-east of the town of Iquique, according to the US Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The reading was based on the open-ended Moment Magnitude scale, now used by US seismologists, which measures the area of the fault that ruptured and the total energy released.

Chileans are still jittery after the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country in February 2010. That quake and subsequent tsunami killed 524 people. - Sapa-AFP


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