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Strong Earthquake and Aftershocks shake Western Argentina, No Deaths

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BUENOS AIRES, Jan 19- A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Monday night, accompanied by a series of aftershocks in the early hours of Tuesday in the western Argentine province of San Juan, with minor damage and three injuries, reported the district government.

The epicenter was located 42 kilometers southwest of the capital city of San Juan, some 1,100 kilometers west of Buenos Aires. The shocks were felt in neighboring provinces and were noted in the oscillation of tall buildings in the City of Buenos Aires (CABA).

In the San Juan settlements of Pellegrini and La Paz, where more than 240 families live, the earthquake caused the collapse of 40% of the houses, the Government of President Alberto Fernández reported.

The president, who flew over the area, “announced the construction of 1,800 homes in the province of Cuyo with a contribution from the national State, through the Own Home-Build Future Program, of 7,100 million pesos (about 82.4 million dollars) “.

The earthquake and its aftershocks occurred shallow, experts said, causing thousands of residents to panic.

“There were no fatalities. The report indicates that two children suffered moderate trauma from the department of Pocito and an older adult with serious trauma,” said the governor of San Juan, Sergio Uñac, at a press conference.

The governor had anticipated the collapse of houses in towns near the event, with the fall of poles and power cuts.

San Juan stands out for strong earthquakes in the past, with two that marked its history with extensive damage and dozens of deaths: one in 1944 and the other in 1977, which forced to update the laws so that the architecture meets the anti-seismic requirements. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Edited by Janisse Huambachano/Walter Bianchi).

Ben Oakley
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