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Thursday, Jan 19th

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Pinera assumes Chile presidency amid strong quakes

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The strongest aftershock since Chile's devastating earthquake rocked the South American country Thursday as President Sebastian Pinera was sworn into office.The 7.2-magnitude aftershock was stronger than the quake that destroyed the Haitian capital on Jan. 12.

There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries but the temblor - and at least three other aftershocks - strongly swayed buildings - shook windows and provoked nervous smiles among the dignitaries attending Pinera's inauguration at the congressional building in coastal Valparaiso.

The biggest aftershock happened along the same fault zone as Chile's magnitude-8.8 quake on Feb. 27, said geophysicist Don Blakeman at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado.

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