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Chile's navy issues tsunami alert after 7.8 magnitude quake

Chile's emergency office ordered a preventive evacuation of the coastline in the country's north following an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 late on Wednesday.

The first tsunami waves have reached the country's coastline, the country's navy said. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the tsunami wave activity on Chile's coast reached a height of 2.4 feet (0.7 meter). The tsunami warning for Chile and Peru has now been cancelled.

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People walk along a cracked road in Iquique, northern Chile, on April 2, 2014 after a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake hit off Chile's Pacific coast.
AFP | Stringer | Getty Images
People walk along a cracked road in Iquique, northern Chile, on April 2, 2014 after a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake hit off Chile's Pacific coast.

The quake, which was initially reported as being of magnitude 7.4., is the largest of a series of aftershocks following a powerful and deadly 8.2 magnitude quake that hit a day earlier.

The quake was located 12 miles (19 km) south of the port of Iquique at a relatively shallow depth of 12.4 miles (20 km), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet was evacuated from her hotel in the northern city of Arica following the quake, local media reported on Thursday. She was visiting the area assessing damages after a tsunami rocked the area on Tuesday.

Peru issued a tsunami alert along its southern coast following the 7.8-magnitude quake, the Peruvian Navy said via Twitter on Wednesday. There were no initial reports of damages in Peru.