A second powerful earthquake, this one of 7.8 magnitude, has struck off Chile's northern coast, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has said.
The quake, said to be high magnitude aftershock, the largest of a series of them, following a powerful 8.2 magnitude quake that struck a day earlier, on Tuesday morning, in the same area. It was located 12 miles (19km) south of the port of Iquique.
A tsunami warning was issued, but has now been lifted. According to a member of the national disaster relief agency ONEMI, the first tsunami waves have that began lashing the coast were about 2.4 feet (0.7 metres) high. A preventative evacuation of the coastal area has been ordered, officials said. Thousands of Chileans had begun returning after being evacuated following Tuesday's quake.
Reports say newly sworn in Chilean president Michelle Bachelet was evacuated from her hotel to higher ground in the northern city of Arica. She was assessing damage in the region far north of the capital Santiago.
This quake had earlier been reported as measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale. No immediate fatalities or major damage from this new quake have been reported so far.
President Bachelet had declared northern Chile, including the provinces of Arica and Parinacota, and Tarapaca, a disaster area after the first quake.
Video by AFP.
The tremors are reported to have been felt as far inland as Bolivia, and have sparked evacuation warnings along the Pacific Coast of South America, and even into Central America. Peru has issued a tsunami alert.
Five people were killed in a Tuesday's massive earthquake, which measured 8.2 on the Richter Scale and triggered tsunami waves.
With inputs from agencies.