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7.0 magnitude quake in Colombia: USGS

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook southern Colombia Saturday and was felt as far away as Quito, Ecuador, authorities said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The quake, occurring at a depth of 129 kilometers (80 miles) at 1416 GMT, was located 11 kilometers (7 miles) southwest of Pasto, Colombia, a city of 400,000 people at the foot of the Galeras volcano, according to the US Geological Survey.

The USGS said the quake measured 7.0 on the moment magnitude scale. The Colombian Geological Service said the quake registered 6.8 on the Richter scale.

The Colombian service said national crisis centers had been activated but added "there have been no effects for the moment."

"It's possible there won't be aftershocks because of the great depth at which the quake occurred," Jaime Raigosa, a seismologist at the Colombian Institute of Geology and Mining, told Blu Radio.

The quake was felt throughout southern and western Colombia, and in Bogota, whose mayor, Gustavo Petro, tweeted there were "no reports of injuries or damage" although some tall buildings were evacuated.

"There is no situation that has put anyone in danger," Carlos Ivan Marquez, head of the national risk management unit, said on Caracol television.

The quake also was felt in neighboring Ecuador, where firefighters in the capital Quito urged residents via Twitter to remain calm and take necessary precautions.

The quake was situated 199 kilometers (123 miles) northeast of Quito and 168 kilometers (104 miles) southwest of the Colombian city of Popayan, the USGS said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said the event did not generate a destructive tsunami.

"A destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected, and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130209/70-magnitude-quake-colombia-usgs-0