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File photo: a seismologist points at a Richter scale graph showing a 6.4-magnitude earthquake. STR/AP/Press Association Images

6.4 quake shakes northern Argentina

The earthquake prompted evacuations in Buenos Aires and was felt in other populous areas – however those living at the epicentre didn’t even notice it.

A MAGNITUDE-6.4 earthquake struck north-central Argentina today, shaking things up enough to cause evacuations in the capital and to be felt in much of the country’s population centres – while people living near the epicenter didn’t even notice it.

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit 130 kilometres southeast of Santiago del Estero, a provincial capital of 250,000 people and the 12th-largest city in Argentina. Magnitude-6 earthquakes can cause severe damage, but this one was centered nearly 600 kilometres below the surface — so far underground that its effects were minimised.

The shaking Friday prompted people to spill out of the San Isidro courts building in Buenos Aires province, nearly 800 kilometres from the epicenter – people in tall buildings said they felt their furniture shake in the northeastern city of Rosario, but it was hardly noticed in Santiago del Estero.

“There hasn’t been any kind of damage or injuries here,” said the city’s civil defence chief, Daniel Pikaluk. “Maybe it was so deep that the aftershocks were felt more far away then close in. Here there were just a few people who said they felt a little dizzy, that’s all.”

The temblor also went unnoticed even closer to the epicentre.

“We didn’t hear or feel a thing,” said Daniel Ledesma, who owns the 32-room Hotel Avenida in Anatuya, a small town just 30 kilometres from the epicentre.

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Associated Foreign Press