A strong earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale has hit close to the Chilean capital Santiago, prompting the authorities to evacuate a large stretch of coastline.
So far no damage or casualties have been reported.
“We have not received any reports of fatalities. This was a quake of medium intensity and we are still monitoring the situation,” said Núñez Vicente Núñez, head of Chile’s National Emergency Office.
The quake struck at approximately 00:50 local time (03:50 GMT) and reportedly lasted for two minutes.
Chilean authorities have ordered the evacuation of the city of Constitucion and other coastal regions, although Chile’s oceanography service has ruled out the possibility of a tsunami.
In Santiago, 114km from the epicenter of the quake, people abandoned their homes and took to the streets, reports Spanish news agency Efe.
The strength of the earthquake was initially recorded at 6.6 in magnitude when it struck 48km northeast of the coastal city Valparaiso, at a depth of 25.91 kilometers.
Chile is located in an area of geological instability and is prone to powerful earthquakes. A major 8.8 magnitude quake hit the country two years ago, devastating the center of the country and claiming over 500 lives.