Magnitude 6.8 earthquake shakes Chile


A resident warms himself up with a fire amid debris left by the waves generated by a major earthquake, in the surfing community of Pichilemu, March 1, 2010. (Mariana Bazo/Reuters)


Mariana Bazo

The 6.8 earthquake shook buildings and broke window in north-central Chile on Wednesday.

The quake, which was first reported as a 6.7 magnitude, struck at a depth of 28.4 miles about 63 miles southwest of the Copiapo mining town and 364 miles north of Santiago, reported Reuters. Chile's emergency office said there were no reports of significant damage, and the navy noted that it did not meet conditions to generate a tsunami off the country's Pacific coast.

According to the Associated Press, Santiago felt the earthquake, but it only cause buildings to sway in the capital. Witnesses described people running from buildings and into the streets in a panic in Copiapo.

More from GlobalPost: Chile quake: The view from Valdivia

Vallenar Mayor Cristian Tapia said telephone lines were jammed and some electricity lines were temporarily down, but services were slowly beginning to return.

"The first half hour was really tough. We're still having problems with telecommunications," Tapia told state TV. "Two walls collapsed. We're evaluating ruptures at homes to find out if they're still safe to live in."

Almost three years ago, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake was followed by a tsunami that hit south-central Chile, killing hundreds of people and causing billions of dollars of damage.