A powerful earthquake has struck northern Chile, causing injuries, damaging buildings, and causing widespread panic. The US Geological Survey said it measured 7.7 on the open-ended Richter Scale. Anything over six is considered important. Its epicentre was 60 kms underground, 100 kms west of the town of Calama.
Northern Chile is rich in minerals. The earthquake struck an area with many copper mines. Work at the world’s largest copper mine was disrupted because of power failure. The tremors were felt more than a thousand kms away in the capital Santiago, and in Chile’s northern neighbours Peru and Bolivia, as well as in Argentina to the east.