Series of quakes rattle Chile a year after disaster

A series of underwater earthquakes have struck central Chile, US monitors said, two days after a powerful temblor rattled residents in the quake-prone country.

 
The latest quake measured 6.6 and occurred in the Pacific Ocean 97 kilometers (60 miles) west of Talca at 0340 GMT Monday, according to the US Geological Survey.
 
Earlier tremors were magnitude 6.0, 5.8 and 5.6, and happened Sunday some 95 kilometers (60 miles) west of Chillan, in the Bio-Bio region.
 
There were no immediate reports of damage, and not tsunamis were anticipated.
 
The first quake -- of magnitude 5.8 shook the earth at 5:52 am (0852 GMT), followed by the larger one at 7:35 (1035 GMT) and the magnitude 5.6 temblor at 10:45 (1345 GMT), according to the USGS.
 
The readings were based on the open-ended Moment Magnitude scale, now used by US seismologists, which measures the area of the fault that ruptured and the total energy released.
 
The quakes were among a series of at least two dozen aftershocks following Friday's powerful magnitude 6.8 quake which struck the same region, though no casualties or damage were reported.
 
The area is still reeling from a massive 8.8 temblor and accompanying tsunami that wreaked death and destruction a year ago.
 
Last year's disaster led to more than 500 deaths and ê30 billion in damage, and prompted an inquiry over the lack of a timely tsunami warning.
 
President Sebastian Pinera has said that reconstruction from the devastation would extend until 2014, with many schools, roads and hospitals still needing repairs.
 
Chilean seismologists says it is not usual to see aftershocks from a quake as large as the one last year, even a year later.
 
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