7.6-magnitude quake hits Chile

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

The strong quake hit at 11.22 a.m. (local time), and was centred 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.

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

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

“No human lives have been lost,” Toro added.

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