Iquique

Iquique (ēkēˈkā) [key], city (1990 est. pop. 148,500), capital of Iquique prov., N Chile. A port on the Pacific, it exports nitrates and ore from the Atacama Desert. The city, founded in the 16th cent., was taken (1879) from Peru by Chile during the War of the Pacific (see Pacific, War of the). Since rain rarely falls, water must be brought from 60 mi (97 km) away. The city has fine beaches and excellent deep-sea fishing. Iquique, like much of Chile, is subject to powerful earthquakes; the most recent major earthquake was in 2005.

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