Major quake jolts Chile resort region; 21,000 homes lose power

SANTIAGO – A major 7.6 magnitude earthquake jolted southern Chile on Sunday, prompting thousands to evacuate coastal areas, but no fatalities or major damage were reported in the tourism and salmon farming region.Chile’s National Emergency Office (ONEMI) lifted both the evacuation order and a tsunami watch three hours after the Christmas Day quake struck, telling nearly 5,000 people who had evacuated they could return to their homes.Onemi said one bridge in the area was impassable as crews worked to restore electricity to 21,000 homes without power.Officials had issued a tsunami warning earlier for areas within 1,000 km (621 miles) of the epicenter, just 39 km (24.5 miles) southwest of Puerto Quellon, off the coast. But the warning was downgraded to a tsunami watch. Eight mostly small ports in the area were closed, Chile’s Navy said.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.

Source: Major quake jolts Chile resort region; 21,000 homes lose power

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