Powerful quake hits central Chile, coast empties

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- A magnitude-7.2 earthquake has struck just off the coast of central Chile, prompting an emergency evacuation order for people living near the ocean in case it spawns a tsunami.

The quake struck 20 miles (32 kilometers) north-northwest of Talca, one of the hardest-hit cities in the huge quake that devastated central Chile two years ago.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, but the government ordered people living near shore to head for higher ground along a long stretch of the coast.


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