Chile earthquake: 8.3-magnitude quake strikes off coast


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(CNN)A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile’s coast on Wednesday, according to a preliminary assessment from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake’s epicenter was about 54 kilometers (34 miles) west of Illapel, Chile, USGS said. It occurred around 7:54 p.m. (6:45 p.m. ET) and had a depth of 33 kilometers (20.5 miles).

Chile’s national emergency agency issued a tsunami alert, ordering evacuations in coastal areas from Arica to Puerto Aysen.

There were reports of damages to homes in Illapel, Interior Minister Jorge Burgos told reporters.

Ricardo Toro, the director of Chile’s emergency agency, told reporters that there were no reports of major damage or deaths.

Pictures taken inside a shopping mall in La Serena, in the coastal city just north of Coquimbo, showed walls and signs toppled to the floor, ceiling tiles caved in as well as chairs, benches and tables covered in rubble.

Source CNN