Major quake jolts Chile tourist region on Christmas Day

Agencies/ | 2016-12-26 09:49

Major quake jolts Chile tourist region on Christmas Day

Workers inspect a section of a road that was severely damaged by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Tarahuin, on the island of Chiloe, a town 1,250 km south of Santiago, Chile, Dec 25, 2016. [Photo/IC] 

The quake was felt on the other side of the Andes mountains in Argentina, in the southwestern city of Bariloche, but structural damage in areas close to the epicenter was limited, witnesses said.

The quake was relatively shallow, at a depth of about 34.6 km (21.5 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

"There was a lot, a lot of movement here, but besides that nothing of note, there weren't houses falling," said Alamiro Vera, owner of the Cabanas Hotel in Quellon. "It was just scary, and some things inside fell."

Alvarado, 46, said she was preparing to travel to the countryside to celebrate Christmas with friends when she felt the quake and ran out of her home.

"All of a sudden it shook and shook and shook," Alvarado told Reuters. "I thought the house would fall and the ground would open because it was very strong and very loud."

Though there were dozens of weaker aftershocks, damage was concentrated along a highway that runs across Chiloe Island, where traffic was shut in one section and on smaller roads and bridges.

Local television showed damage to some homes, especially in Quellon and surrounding areas.

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