3 Jan 2011

6.5 Chile quake reawakens tsunami fear

4:16 pm on 3 January 2011

A strong 6.5 earthquake has hit central Chile, driving panicked residents from their homes in fear of a tsunami.

There are no immediate reports of major damage or injury but some telephone and power lines were knocked down.

Last February, an 8.8 earthquake caused tsunami waves that devastated coastal towns in the same area of Chile, killing more than 500 people.

The US Geological Survey says the epicentre of the new quake was just off the Pacific coast, 70 kilometres north-west of Temuco at a depth of 16.9 kilometres, at 5.21pm local time on Sunday.

The Pacific Tsunami Center in Hawaii says there was no widespread tsunami threat, and people who left their homes have been advised to return.