Strong earthquake shakes central Chile
SANTIAGO, CHILE (BDCi) – A strong, magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocked central Chile late Monday, prompting authorities to order a preventative evacuation of a stretch of coastline, causing hundreds of people to flee buildings in panic and shaking up the visiting prime minister of Canada.
There were no reports of major damage, but authorities in the port city of Valparaiso said a 72-year-old man died of a heart attack during the quake, which was felt for almost a minute in Valparaiso and the capital, Santiago.
Deputy Interior Secretary Rodrigo Ubilla said the preventative evacuation would be kept in place until authorities had confirmed that there were no major variations in the ocean.
The quake knocked out power and telephone service in various parts of Santiago, but the National Emergency Office of the Interior Ministry said that it had received no reports of major damage or injuries so far.
Visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was awakened by the earthquake, but was not hurt.
By: Natania Levine
17 April 2012
8:57 a.m P.D.T