March 16, 2010 / 2:50 AM / 10 years ago

Aftershock hits off coast of Chile, no damage

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd R) and actress and member of J/P Haitian Relief Organisation Maria Bello (L) listen as a nurse explains about the dispensing of medicine during a visit at the Petion Ville Club golf course IDP camp in Port-au-Prince March 14, 2010. REUTERS/UN/Sophie Paris/Handout

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A magnitude 6.7 aftershock struck off the coast of Chile on Monday night about 45 miles (72 km) northwest of Concepcion, which was heavily damaged in an 8.8 magnitude quake on February 27, but the national emergency office said no casualties or damage to infrastructure had been reported.

The epicentre of the aftershock was 21.7 miles (34 km) deep in the Pacific Ocean, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“The characteristics of this quake do not merit a tsunami (alert). The situation is normal,” said Vicente Nunez, the head of the national emergency office, known by its acronym ONEMI, adding that there were no reports of casualties or damage to infrastructure.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said historical data indicated the aftershock would not generate a tsunami but advised authorities in much of the Pacific region to be aware of the possibility.

The devastating quake and ensuing tsunamis late last month killed about 500 people and tore up roads and towns. It caused an estimated $30 billion in damage to infrastructure, homes and industry, the government said last week.

Reporting by Antonio de la Jara; Writing by Eduardo Garcia

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