On January 2nd, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck southern Chile, prompting scenes of panic as people run away from the coast and sought shelters on higher ground, amid fears that the quake could generate a tsunami. The epicenter of the tremor was located about 370 miles (595km) south-southwest of Santiago, the capital city. No major material damage or casualties have been reported so far. In the Araucanía region, power cuts were reported while communications services, including some mobile phone aerials, have been knocked-out.
The country is highly prone to earthquakes as the northern two-thirds of Chile lie on the top of the telluric Nazca Plate, which, moving eastward about ten centimeters a year, is forcing its way under the continental plate of South America. This movement has also created the Peru-Chile Trench, which lies beyond a narrow band of coastal waters off northern two-thirds of the country.
Obey all recommendations given by local authorities. Be aware that aftershocks remain possible. If an earthquake occurs while you’re outside, walking near the building, take shelter under the door’s, shop’s and building’s frame and protect your own from objects such as brick, stone’s view and glass and building’s decorations that might fall on you. Take shelter away from the building’s balcony, broken walls and objects that might fall on you, also shops and windows. Get away from tall buildings, deck bridges and high voltage cables also near street light poles. If an earthquake occurs while you’re in a car, pull over to the right side of the street at safe place and remain there until shaking is over. Be sure that your place is away from trees and under pedestrian bridges and crossover. If you are in a building during an earthquake, get away from windows and objects that might fall on you. You should take shelter under the tables and desk or bed and if they move because of earthquake’s shaking, keep firmly their legs with your hands.