At least two elderly people were reported dead but from heart attacks. The quake hit at 10:32pm local time (1:32am GMT) and was centred just off the coast. It was felt in Valparaiso, O’Higgins and the region of the capital Santiago, as well as in Atacama and Coquimbo up north. Thousands of homes lost power. Residents in Coquimbo and neighboring Serena, a coastal region about 500 kilometers from Santiago, were evacuated to high ground even though authorities quickly ruled out a tsunami, according to local media.
Damage has been reported at several locations. Footage from locals showed crowds of people evacuating and even people running carrying children during the brief tsunami warning. Chile is situated on the so-called ‘Ring of Fire’, where the earth’s tectonic plates meet and rub against each other. This area of the world is where the majority of earthquakes take place and where volcanic eruptions occur more frequently.The 1960 Valdivia earthquake in Chile was the strongest ever recorded, at 9.5.