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Chile earthquake aftershock hits as new president takes over

The term of newly inaugurated Sebastian Pinera literally began with a jolt, as a Chile earthquake aftershock shook his swearing-in and the Navy issued a tsunami alert.

Chile earthquake aftershock: A police officer looks up in front of supporters of Chile's President Sebastian Pinera during an aftershock in Valparaiso, Chile, Thursday. The strongest aftershock since Chile's devastating earthquake rocked the South American country Thursday during the Pinera's inauguration.

Jorge Sanchez/AP

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A series of strong aftershocks from last month's devastating quake rocked Chile on Thursday as a new president was sworn into office and immediately urged coastal residents to move to higher ground in case of a tsunami.

The strongest aftershock, with a magnitude of 6.9, was nearly as strong as the quake that devastated Haiti's capital on Jan. 12. There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

The Chilean Navy issued a tsunami warning while the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the aftershocks were too small to cause dangerous waves beyond Chile's central coast.

IN PICTURES: Chile aftershock

President Sebastian Pinera was inaugurated at a congressional building in coastal Valparaiso before the building was evacuated as a precaution. The seven aftershocks strongly swayed buildings, shook windows and sent frightened Chileans streaming into the street.


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