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Chile rattled by massive 8.3 magnitude earthquake

2010-02-28 07:58 BJT

Special Report: 8.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Chile |

SANTIAGO, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- A massive earthquake measuring 8.3 magnitude on the Richter scale struck southern Chile early Saturday, knocking out power and driving people in panic into the streets.

It was not immediately known if there was any damage or injuries caused by the earthquake.

The earthquake hit 320 km southwest of Santiago at a depth of 59.4 km 3:34 a.m. (0634 GMT), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A Xinhua reporter said that when the quake struck, he felt his house shaking and heard a squeaky sound for nearly 40 seconds. Shortly after that, electricity was disrupted and everything fell into darkness.

Telecommunications also were disrupted, with almost all telephone and mobile phone calls disconnected, the reporter said.

Many people in the neighborhood ran out to the street in panic.

A tsunami warning has been issued for the entire coast of Chile and Peru and a tsunami watch was issued for Ecuador, said the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua