Strong and shallow M6.8 earthquake hits Atacama, Chile

Strong and shallow M6.8 earthquake hits Atacama, Chile

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.8 hit Atacama, Chile at 04:09 UTC on September 1, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 23 km (14.3 miles). EMSC is reporting it as M6.7 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).

The epicenter was located 78.3 km (48.7 miles) NW of Vallenar (population 44 895), 114.5 km (71.2 miles) SW of Copiapo (population 129 280), and 210.5 km (130.8 miles) N of La Serena (population 154 521).

The quake was followed by M6.3 at 04:30 UTC, M5.4 at 04:36, and M5.1 at 04:44 UTC.

There are about 72 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and rubble/field stone masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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