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Strong Earthquake Rocks Chile

June 16, 2000

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 rocked central Chile early Friday. Authorities said no victims or damage were immediately reported.

The quake lasted about 40 seconds and was felt in a 700-mile stretch of Chile’s narrow territory, including this capital city of 5.5 million people.

``The news so far is positive as there are no reports of victims or damage, just alarm,″ said Alberto Maturana, head of the government’s Emergency Office. He said telephone service was cut off in some areas.

The Seismological Institute of the University of Chile, correcting earlier reports by the Emergency Office, said the quake’s epicenter was in Cajon del Maipo, in the Andes foothills, 43 miles south west of Santiago. The Institute called its data preliminary.

The area where the quake struck is recovering from a massive three-day storm that forced more than 60,000 people from their homes and into shelters.

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