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Powerful aftershock rocks Chile following Tuesday’s massive earthquake

Emergency officials issue new tsunami warnings but later call them off

People are evacuated from their homes in Iquique, Chile on Wednesday's night following an aftershock. / F. T. (EFE)

A 7.6-magnitude aftershock rocked the north coastal area of Chile shortly before midnight Wednesday, just over 24 hours after an earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter-scale hit the region.

The aftershock sparked new tsunami warnings just hours, but they were later canceled. At least 30 aftershocks have been reported since Tuesday night’s earthquake, which caused at least six deaths – most of them from heart attacks.

President Michelle Bachelet was inspecting the damage in Arica when the aftershock hit.

Bachelet was taken to safe ground following Wednesday’s aftershock

“People can return to their homes,” said Interior Minister Rodrigo Peñailillo after the navy’s Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOA) canceled the tsunami alert for 5,300 kilometers of coastline.

At the same time, Peñailillo denied rumors that a group of miners were trapped near the city of Iquique.

The aftershock did not cause any damage, according to the authorities. Tuesday’s earthquake saw boats washed ashore and windows broken.

Bachelet was taken to safe ground following Wednesday’s aftershock. She had been inspecting the damage in Arica and Iquique, near Chile’s northern border with Peru.

No damage was reported in Peru.

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