Powerful New Aftershocks Strike Chile

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Presidents Rafael Correa of Ecuador (L) and Alan Garcia of Peru (foreground), look at the ceiling of the Congress, as a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocks central Chile, during the inauguration c Earthquake hits Chile (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

A series of powerful aftershocks rattled Chile this morning, just as Sebastián Piñera was being sworn in as the country's new president.

The strongest of three tremors, measuring 6.9 magnitude struck about 90 miles south of Valparaiso where the inauguration ceremony took place.  There was no immediate word on casualties, but local officials near the epicenter say a highway overpass collapsed.

The New York Times reports that, in one of his first acts as president, Pinera issued a catastrophe order for the area.

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