Authorities declare state of emergency in Chile

Authorities in Chile have declared a state of emergency after a magnitude-8.2 earthquake claimed five lives off the country's north coast.

An 8.2 earthquake has struck off the coast of Credit: REUTERS/Cristian Vivero

The extent of damage has not yet been fully assessed, president Michelle Bachelet said, but she sent a military plane with 100 anti-riot police to join 300 soldiers deployed to prevent looting and round up escaped prisoners.

About 300 inmates escaped from a women's prison in the city of Iquique. In Arica, another city close to the quake's offshore epicentre, hospitals treated minor injuries, and some homes made of adobe were destroyed, authorities said.

Advertisement

Evacuation ordered after latest Chile earthquake

Chile's emergency office has ordered the preventative evacuation of northern coastal areas after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake. There have been around 30 earthquakes and severe aftershocks off the coast of Chile in the past 24 hours.