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7.7 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Coast Of Chile

| by Jonathan Constante

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck the coast of southern Chile on Dec. 25.

The earthquake struck at 14:22 GMT about 25 miles south-west of Quellon in the island of Chiloe, BBC News reported. About 4,000 people were evacuated, and no casualties were reported.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake's depth was about 22 miles. A tsunami alert was also initiated, but later lifted.

The national emergency services office initially issued the alert and ordered the evacuation of the coastal areas of the Los Lagos region. Quellon residents also evacuated before the tsunami warning was lifted.

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"I've lived for 10 years in the south and never felt something like that," a local resident told BBC News.

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet took to Twitter to issue a statement about the earthquake.

"Much strength and encouragement to the compatriots affected by the tremor in Chile and other areas in the south," the president wrote, according to a translation by BBC News. "Emergency procedures are already in place."

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Chile is no stranger to earthquakes. Since 1973, Chile experienced more than 12 earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher, CNN reported.

In February 2010, Chile was struck with an 8.8 magnitude earthquake that killed 700 people and affected more than 2 million others.

This recent earthquake left cities such as Concepcion, and the Maule and Bio Bio regions in ruins. Some of the roads have been deemed unpassable.

Although there were no casualties, more than 1.5 million people near Santiago were left without power.

Sources: BBC, USGS, CNN / Photo credit: BBC

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