Magnitude 6.4 quake hits western Argentina – USGS

© earthquake.usgs.gov
A 6.4-magnitude earthquake has hit western Argentina in the province of San Juan, the US Geological Survey reports. The quake was felt across the border in the neighboring country of Chile, eyewitnesses reported on Twitter.

The epicenter of the quake, which struck at a depth of some 115.71 kilometers (71.9 miles), lies some 10.7 kilometers (6.7 miles) southwest of the town of Villa Basilio Nievas, center of  the Zonda department, with a total population of about 3,000 residents. 

The tremor might be felt also in Chile’s capital, Santiago, which lies some 290 kilometers (180 miles) northeast of the quake. The magnitude of the quake was initially reported as 6.7 but was later revised.

Chile’s navy said there was no current tsunami threat for the region.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) reported the tremor from the quake was “felt at large distances” but has not caused any damage.

According to the Centre’s estimates, about 10 million people are living in the affected area.

While the earthquake is considered to be too deep to cause any significant damage, local Sanjuan8 news portal cited eyewitnesses saying that some apparently frightened people ran screaming through the streets in panic as the quake shook the province. 

The strong shaking was also reported in western Argentinian province of Mendoza, located some 75 kilometers from neighboring San Juan. Many residents rushed out of their homes out of fear, Los Andes reported. However, no injuries or damages have been reported in the province so far.