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Strong earthquake strikes central Chile

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Witness describes Chile earthquake
  • NEW: The 7.1-magnitude quake cuts some telephone and electricity lines
  • It is felt as far as Santiago, 370 miles away
  • There are no immediate reports of major damage

(CNN) -- A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck the central coastal area of Chile on Sunday, some 70 kilometers (45 miles) northwest of Temuco, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of major damage or injury.

The quake, which stuck around 5:20 p.m. (3:20 p.m. ET), was felt as far away as Santiago, roughly 595 km (370 miles) north of where the USGS said the quake occurred. The epicenter was more than 10 miles underground, the USGS said.

Loreto Henriquez, manager of the Holiday Inn Express in Temuco, felt the quake for about a minute, describing it as loud and strong. She said people ran into the streets, but did not report any major damage.

CNN Chile similarly reported no immediate injuries or damage.

The temblor cut some telephone and electricity lines, according to Chile's national emergency office, which did not provide any further detail.

Major quake rocks central Chile

Roughly 91,000 people felt very strong shaking, according to USGS estimates.

Soon after the quake, a 5.0-magnitude aftershock rattled the area around 6:10 p.m. (4:10 p.m. ET), striking some 110 km (70 miles) northwest of Temuco.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said no widespread tsunami threat exists, but did not rule out the possibility of local tsunamis close to the quake's epicenter.

In February, an 8.8-magnitude quake hit Chile near the nation's second largest city, Concepcion, killing hundreds. Sunday's quake struck roughly 100 miles south of Concepcion.

CNN's Brian Walker contributed to this report.