Earthquake shakes central Chile

Map showing Chile earthquake

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A strong earthquake has shaken central Chile, disrupting power and communications but causing no casualties or serious damage.

The quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and its epicentre was 70km (45 miles) northwest of Temuco with a depth of 25km, the US Geological Service said.

Hundreds of people in coastal areas fled to higher ground for fear of a tsunami, but no alert was issued.

An 8.8-magnitude quake in the same area last February caused huge destruction.

Chile's national emergency agency (Onemi) said there was no danger of a tsunami.

"Up until now we don't have any reports of injuries, there's no damage, just overloaded telephone lines and some partial power cuts," said Onemi's director, Vicente Nunez.

"We've told people to go back to their houses because there's no tsunami alert."

The quake hit at 1720 (2020 GMT) and was centred about 600 kilometres (370 miles) southwest of the capital, Santiago.

The University of Chile's Institute of Seismology put the magnitude at 6.9.

Chile is still rebuilding after February's massive quake, which smashed infrastructure and triggered a tsunami that devastated several coastal towns, killing more than 400 people.

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