7.6-magnitude quake jolts Chile, no victims reported

Updated 2016-12-26 08:47:50 Xinhua
People evacuate after an earthquake in the city of Calbuco, Los Lagos Region, Chile, on Dec. 25, 2016.

People evacuate after an earthquake in the city of Calbuco, Los Lagos Region, Chile, on Dec. 25, 2016.

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake rattled southern Chile on Sunday, sparking fears of a tsunami, but causing no casualties.

Chile's National Emergency Office (Onemi) initially ordered the evacuation of residents along coastal areas, but later lifted the tsunami alert.

"The state of alert for the coast along five southern regions has been cancelled," Onemi Director Ricardo Toro said.

"There are no waves, only changes in tide, so it is necessary to get away from the beach areas, but not to evacuate the coast, in the Los Lagos Region," Toro added.

Chile's Los Lagos Region includes four provinces.

"No human lives have been lost," said Toro.

The strong quake hit at 11:22 a.m. local time, and was centered 67 km northwest of Melinka, a community situated on the Island of Chiloe, in Aysen province, just 1.5 km south of the capital Santiago.

Regional Radio Bio Bio reported one area resident saying, "I have been living in the south for 10 years and I have never felt anything like this."

In recent days, quakes have been reported in northern Chile, including the towns of Antofagasta, Coquimbo and Valparaiso.

Chilean daily El Mercurio Online published images of supermarket aisles filled with products that had been thrown to the floor from the quake.

At least one area highway was also partially destroyed.

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