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The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude-7.0 earthquake has struck in the South Atlantic, southwest of the disputed Falkland Islands.

It says the quake struck Monday at 2:27 a.m. ET (or 6:27 GMT), about 314 kilometres southeast of the Falklands' capital, Stanley, and 877 kilometres east of Ushuaia, Argentina. The depth was a shallow 10 kilometers.

The Falklands are a British territory that is claimed by Argentina.

The USGS says the quake followed four others that all measured more than 5.0, over a two-hour period leading up to the big quake. It says such quakes are uncommon in the region. Only 15 quakes of more than 5.0 had been measured in the region in the previous 40 years.