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143 Dead in Colombia Earthquake

January 26, 1999

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ An earthquake struck western Colombia on Monday, killing at least 143 people and injuring more than 900 as it toppled buildings across the country’s coffee-growing heartland, civil defense officials said.

The early afternoon quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6, according to the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo. Its epicenter was located in western Valle del Cauca state, 140 miles west of the capital, Bogota.

The death and damage toll appeared to be highest in Armenia, Pereira and Calarca _ three cities near the epicenter.

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