February 27, 2010 / 7:53 AM / 9 years ago

Factbox - Chile

(Reuters) - A magnitude-8.3 earthquake struck south-central Chile early on Saturday, triggering a tsunami warning for Chile and Peru.

Here are some facts about Chile:

* In 1960, Chile was hit by the world’s biggest earthquake in records dating back to 1900, U.S. Geological Survey data shows. The 9.5-magnitude quake devastated the south-central coastal city of Valdivia, killing 1,655 people and sending a tsunami that battered Easter Island, 2,300 miles (3,700 km) off Chile’s Pacific seaboard, and continued as far as Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines.

* Chile’s chain of about 2,000 volcanoes is the world’s second-largest after Indonesia, and is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire” of seismic activity. Some 50 to 60 are on record as having erupted, and 500 are potentially active. The Chaiten volcano, 760 miles (1,200 km) south of Santiago in the Patagonia region, erupted in May 2008 for the first time in thousands of years, spewing a plume of ash visible from space.

* Chile is one of the longest countries in the world, stretching around 2,700 miles (4,300 km) from its northern desert border with Peru and Bolivia to South America’s southern tip by Cape Horn, once a major world trade route.

* Chile is the world’s biggest producer of copper, its main export. It produces about 34 percent of world output of the metal, which is used in electronics, cars and refrigerators. Most of the mines are in the north.

* Dictator Augusto Pinochet ruled Chile with an iron fist for 17 years from a 1973 coup until 1990. Pinochet died in 2006 without facing full trial on rights abuses during his rule, when more than 3,000 people were killed or disappeared and an estimated 28,000 people were tortured.

Reporting by Santiago Newsroom; editing by Doina Chiacu and Kevin Liffey

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