Tsunami Alert and Strong Earthquakes Rock Chile as Piñera Takes Office
President Sebastian Piñera, new President of Chile
Two strong earthquakes shook Chile Thursday as Sebastian Pinera took office as the country’s new president.
The new quakes came as dignitaries gathered in the capital to witness Mr. Pinera succeed Chile’s first female president, socialist Michelle Bachelet, who is barred from a second consecutive term.
Mr. Pinera, a Harvard-educated economist, is expected to steer the Chilean economy toward more free market policies.
The inauguration marks the first time a conservative has led the country since democracy was reinstated in 1990.
The U.S. Geological Survey measured a 7.2 magnitude quake in Chile’s Libertador O’Higgins region, about 124 kilometers from the capital Santiago. It followed a magnitude 5.1 quake centered in the Arucania, Chile region, about 555 kilometers south of the capital.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries from the new quakes. A major 8.8-magnitude earthquake in February killed hundreds of people.
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