March 25, 2012 / 11:11 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 2-Magnitude 7.2 quake hits central Chile

SANTIAGO, March 25 (Reuters) - A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit central Chile on Sunday, shaking buildings in the capital of Santiago, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or injuries.

The government emergency agency, ONEMI, said it was preventively evacuating some areas of the coast, but quickly revoked that decision.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck 64 miles (103 km) west north west of the town of Talca at a depth of 6.2 miles (10 km).

Magnitude 7.0 earthquakes or greater are capable of causing widespread, heavy damage and causing tsunamis at sea, but ONEMI said this quake was not expected to generate a tsunami off the coast.

The quake struck near the same central region that was hit by a massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake in 2010 and ensued tsnunamis in 2010 that killed about 500 people.

The central area is home to some important copper mines, but the bulk of output in the world’s top copper exporting nation is concentrated in the far northern region.

Chilean state copper giant Codelco said operations were normal at its Andina and El Teniente copper mines after the quake. Codelco spokesman Pablo Orozco told Reuters there had been no energy blackouts at the key mines.

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