In coastal La Serena, in the north of Chile, “people were running in all directions”, resident Gloria Navarro said.
Tsunami warnings remain in place for much of the Pacific following yesterday’s massive 8.3 quake in Chile.
The quake struck 105 miles (169 km) north of Valparaiso at a depth of 15.5 miles (25 km), and was originally reported as magnitude 7.9, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Mahmud Aleuy, the undersecretary of the Interior, said that 243,000 houses lost power and one million people were evacuated.
People embrace amid the destruction left behind by an earthquake-triggered tsunami in Concon, Chile, Thursday, September 17, 2015.
According to reports, the port’s pier sustained no damage, but its cruise passenger terminals and administrative offices suffered extensive damage. Those in coastal areas are moving inward, and many people in city high-rises are gathering in the streets for the night.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned of hazardous tsunami waves for the coasts of Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
Chile’s state copper miner Codelco said it was evacuating its workers at its Ventanas division.
While El Salvador, in Central America, was also looking for damaging waves the same anxiety seized residents in Argentina.
The quake – the strongest in the world this year – lasted for more than three minutes and there were dozens of aftershocks. “We went out into the hallway and down the stairs”, Celina Atrave, 65, who lives in a 25-story high-rise near downtown Buenos Aires, told AFP.
Numerous aftershocks, including one at magnitude-7 and four above 6, shook the region after the initial natural disaster – the strongest tremor since a powerful quake and tsunami killed hundreds in 2010 and leveled part of the city of Concepcion in south-central Chile.
Indonesia has been declared safe from potential tsunamis following Chile’s 8.3-magnitude quake on Wednesday, said the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) on Friday.