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Massive Earthquake Rocks Chile, Tsunami Warning Lifted

REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

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Ted Goodman Reporter

A powerful earthquake struck southern Chile Sunday morning, forcing thousands to evacuate near the popular tourist city of Quellon.

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck at 11:22 a.m. local time Christmas morning 800 miles south of Santiago, according to reports from the United States Geological Survey.

Chile’s National Office for Emergency issued an alert and ordered the evacuation of residents on and around Chiloe Island. Officials lifted a tsunami warning after the quake.

While no casualties were reported, the earthquake forced the evacuation of at least 4,000 people, according to Fox News and The Guardian. It was at a depth of approximately 22 miles and caused some damage to roads and bridges.

“I’ve lived for 10 years in the south and never felt something like that,” a resident told BBC. People were allowed to return to their homes in the rural region, which attracts tourists for its mountains and small coastal towns, after emergency officials gave the all clear.

Following the incident, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet tweeted a message of support for the people affected. “Much strength and encouragement to the compatriots affected by the tremor in Chile and other areas in the south. Emergency procedures are already in place,” Bachelet said.

The president also reported that no deaths have been identified as a result of the quake.

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