The US Geological Survey (USGS) said on March 4 that a new 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Antofagasta in northern Chile.

The USGS said the earthquake was not related to the one that rocked the central and southern regions of the country on February 27. Its epicentre was 1,574 km to the north of the capital city of Santiago and at a depth of 105 km under the Andes Mountain .

However, there have been no reports of casualties or material damage from the new earthquake.

In a report released the same day, the Chilean government said the death toll from last week’s 8.8 magnitude earthquake was 279, much lower than the figure of 802 reported previously, which included those missing.

The Chilean government announced that a three-day national mourning period would start on March 7 for the victims of the massive quake.

Five days after the catastrophe, provisions were transported to the devastated fishing village of Constitucion to assist thousands of local people who are facing food and water shortages. An estimated 10,000-20,000 people left homeless are now living in tents on high ground, fearing a new tsunami.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Chile on March 4 to assess the scale of the devastation left by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

The UN chief is scheduled to meet with the outgoing President, Michelle Bachelet and president-elect, Sebastian Pinera, to reiterate the UN’s commitment to helping Chile recover from the quake.

He will also conduct a fact-finding tour of Concepcion, one of the hardest-hit cities, and work with UN staff operating in Chile./.