President Sebastian Pinera was sworn into office in Chile today amidst three major aftershocks from the February 27th, 2010 Chilean quake.
Three strong earthquakes struck within a half hour of each other this morning. The first to hit was a magnitude 7.2 at 9:39 a.m. EST, the second was magnitude 6.9 around 15 minutes later and the 3rd, magnitude 6.0 struck 27 minutes after the first.
These quakes are the strongest yet since a magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck Chile on February 27, 2010.
Chile Earthquake: 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Chile During Inauguration (Video)
President-elect Sebastian Pinera was about to be inaugurated when the ground shaking earthquake struck by the Chilean coast. (Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins)
The inauguration was not disrupted by Mother Nature’s seismic activity.
The conservative billionaire, Sebastian Pinera, was sworn in at 12:15 local time, about 20 minutes after the second quake struck.
The epicenter of the 7.2 quake was approximately 95 miles south-southwest of Santiago, the capital of Chile. The epicenter of the 2nd was about 89 miles southwest of Santiago, and the 3rd was located 86 miles southwest of Santiago.
There are no current reports of damage or injuries. Last months earthquake left hundreds dead, many injured, homes demolished and a Tsunami warning was issued.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center does not expect to issue a warning after today’s activity.
Rolando Santos, senior vice president and general manager of CNN Chile, said he and his colleagues felt one of the quakes.
“I can tell you within our newsroom in Santiago, which is state of the art in terms of seismic construction, it shook for more than 45 seconds,” he said.
He said that he told staffers to get under desks and that three people burst into tears. In the last two days, people had kind of gotten used to aftershocks, but “there was no question this one got everyone’s attention,” he said.
Residents are being urged to move to higher ground, and Chile’s congress has evacuated the capital.
We will update Chile Earthquake: 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Chile During Inauguration (Video) as new information comes in.