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Officials Lift Tsunami Warnings After Powerful Quake Off Chilean Coast

  • VOA News

A damaged road is seen after a quake at Tarahuin, on Chiloe island, southern Chile, Dec. 25, 2016.

Officials have lifted a tsunami warning issued earlier Sunday after a powerful earthquake struck southern Chile. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

A tsunami watch, however, remains in place.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the temblor had a magnitude of 7.6 and was centered 40 kilometers southwest of Puerto Quellon on Chile's sparsely populated southern coast. It struck at 11:22 am local time (1422 UTC).

Chile’s National Emergency Services chief Ricardo Toro still urged residents at Los Lagos region to evacuate and go to higher ground.

Toro said about 4,000 people have evacuated Los Lagos.

U.S. and Chilean authorities issued tsunami warnings for areas within 1,000 kilometers of the epicenter.

It was the third earthquake this month of 7.7 magnitude or higher along the quake-prone Pacific Rim, sometimes referred to as the "ring of fire."

A 7.8 magnitude-earthquake was recorded off the coast of the Solomon Islands on Dec. 8, and a 7.9-magnitude temblor was reported Dec. 17 in Papua New Guinea.

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