File photo of the aftermath of the devastating quake in the Maule region in central Chile in February 2010. The US Geological Survey has registered an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale in central Chile.
The earthquake struck at 22:37 GMT some 32 kilometers (20 miles) northwest of the city of Talca in the country’s Maule region, the same area ravaged by a massive 8.8-magnitude quake in late February 2010.
The Office of National Emergencies said in its initial report that due to panic, one person had been injured in a car accident in the Bio Bio region. There, however, are still no significant reports of damage or injuries.
“For now, we do not have reports of any fatalities. There is some evidence of people injured, unfortunately from pieces of walls that fell,” said Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter.
Buildings shook for almost a minute in the capital Santiago, creating panic among the residents.
People living along Chile’s central coast were warned to head for higher ground over fears of monster waves. However, the National Emergency and Information Office later revoked the call, saying that a tsunami was not expected.
Last year’s quake killed 500 people and caused billions of dollars in damage. Most of the deaths occurred from the tsunamis that slammed into coastal towns and villages.