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chile-quakeA powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Chile, prompting a tsunami warning.

The quake struck about 40km (25 miles) south-west of Quellon in southern Chile at 14:22 GMT, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Its depth was about 34km. There are no details yet of damage.

Chile’s national emergency office has issued an alert and ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Los Lagos region.

“As a measure of precaution, we order the evacuation of coastal areas of Biobio, Araucania, Los Rios, Aysen,” the alert said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said hazardous waves of up to 3m (9ft 10in) above tide level were possible on coasts located up to 1,000km from the quake’s epicentre.

Residents of Quellon were among those heading to safe areas, according to local media.

“I’ve lived for 10 years in the south and never felt something like that,” a resident who was leaving his house said.

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet¬†tweeted: “Much strength and encouragement to the compatriots affected by the tremor in Chile and other areas in the south. Emergency procedures are already in place.”

 

BBC

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