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    Fresh 7.2-magnitude quake hits Chile as new president takes office

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    A new earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hit Chile on Thursday, the same day Sebastian Pinera took office as president, the U.S. Geological Survey said, adding that there was a threat of a tsunami.

    A new earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hit Chile on Thursday, the same day Sebastian Pinera took office as president, the U.S. Geological Survey said, adding that there was a threat of a tsunami.

    Three tremors occurred at 11:39 local time (14:39 GMT) 150 kilometers southwest of the country's capital, Santiago. The quake's epicenter was at a depth of 35 kilometers.

    Chilea's navy issued a tsunami alert.

    Local media said residents of Santiago were evacuated from buildings.

    There were no immediate reports on causalities or damage.

    On February 27, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake occurred to the north of Concepcion. According to official reports, 497 people died as a result of the tremor.

    The quake was followed by a series of aftershocks and tsunamis leaving some 2 million Chileans homeless and damaging about 1.5 million houses.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Pinera with his inauguration and assured him that Russia is ready to continue sending aid to help the country deal with the aftermath of the earthquake.

    Two Russian aircraft delivered over 56 tons of humanitarian aid to Chile on March 3 and 5.

     

    MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti)

     

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