Three strong earthquakes rocked Chile on Thursday, causing significant damage in at least one city, the country’s newly inaugurated president said Thursday.

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit at 11:39 a.m. local time (9:39 a.m. ET), followed by a 6.7-magnitude quake 16 minutes later, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. A third, measured at magnitude 6.0, came 27 minutes later.

They were the strongest aftershocks to rattle Chile since a February 27 earthquake on the country’s west coast that toppled buildings and spawned a tsunami, killing several hundred people.

Thursday’s quakes shook the ground near Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins near the coast just as Chile prepared to inaugurate a new president, Sebastian Pinera.

The central Chilean city of Rancagua was affected, Pinera said.

“There is significant damage in Rancagua,” the new president said. “We’re going to send the necessary armed forces to guarantee citizens’ safety.”

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Article courtesy cnn.com

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