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Powerful 7.8 earthquake rocks northern Chile: officials

SANTIAGO - A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 rocked northern Chile late Wednesday, the day after a deadly 8.2 jolt in the same region, authorities said.

A tsunami warning was issued and thousands of people were ordered to evacuate inland from coastal areas, according to authorities who had first measured the quake at 7.4.

The new temblor struck at 2343 local (0143 GMT), 20 km (14 miles) south of the city of Iquique, the navy’s alert service said.

"Based on its strength a tsunami warning has been issued," the nationaloceanographic agency, known as CHOA, added.

Thousands of Chileans had just returned home after spending the night on hills following Tuesday’s 8.2-magnitude earthquake that killed six people and sparked tsunami fears as far as Japan.

The tremors were felt as far inland as landlocked Bolivia and sparked evacuation warnings up the Pacific coast of South America and into Central America.

AFP


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