|Published:||Jan 03, 2011 12:07 AM EST|
|Updated:||Jan 02, 2011 9:07 PM EST|
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - A magnitude-7.1 earthquake shook southern Chile on Sunday, frightening hundreds of people who fled for higher ground fearing it could generate a tsunami like the one that ravaged the coastline last year.
There were no immediate reports of deaths or damage, and Vicente Nunez, head of the National Emergency Office, said no tsunami alert was issued.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii also said a destructive Pacific Ocean-wide tsunami was not expected.
Some cell-phone communications were knocked out in the Araucania region where the quake was centered, 370 miles (595 kilometers) south-southwest of the capital, Santiago.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was about 45 miles (70 kilometers) away from the provincial capital of Temuco, which has a population of about 250,000.
The quake struck at a depth of about 11 miles (17 kilometers), according to the USGS, and there was at least one aftershock of 5.0 magnitude.
When the first temblor struck, people in several coastal cities quickly moved for higher ground, abandoning some shopping centers entirely.
Residents of the region have fresh memories of the magnitude-8.8 quake and resulting tsunami on Feb. 27, 2010, that killed at least 521 people and left 200,000 homeless.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)