7.6 Aftershock Shakes Chile

Low death toll credited to strict building codes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2014 1:33 AM CDT
Second Strong Quake Shakes Chile
Fishing boats washed ashore by a small tsunami sit in Caleta Riquelme, Chile.   (AP Photo/Cristian Vivero)

A second strong earthquake has hit Chile, the day after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake shook the country, forcing a million people to flee their homes but causing surprisingly few deaths. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet was among those evacuated after the 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit last night, the BBC reports. The strong aftershock caused buildings to wobble but there have been no immediate reports of damage or deaths. A precautionary tsunami alert along the coast was soon called off, reports Reuters.

The earlier quake killed six people, a remarkably low toll that experts credit to preparedness and strict building codes in one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries. "They're a seismically active region of the world and they are very good at implementing their building codes similar to California," a US Geological Survey spokesman tells CNN. Some 293 inmates escaped from a women's prison in the city of Iquique during the first quake. The military has been deployed to search for them, but authorities say 131 inmates have returned voluntarily. (More Chile stories.)

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