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7.7 magnitude quake hits off the coast of Chile, triggering tsunami alert

A shallow magnitude 7.7 earthquake was reported Sunday morning, 24 miles from Puerto Quellon, Chile, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The temblor occured at 6:22 a.m.

The depth was recorded at 20.5 miles.

Chile's naval oceanographic service declared a preventative tsunami alert and officials began evacuating coastal areas in the southern part of the country, the Associated Press reported. 

The regional director for the national emergency service, Alejandro Verges, told TVN television that there were no immediate reports of damage.

A much stronger magnitude 8.8 earthquake in February 2010 generated a tsunami and killed 524 people in Chile. 

Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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UPDATES:

7:50 a.m.: This article was updated with a tsunami warning and the status of damages. 

This article was originally posted at 6:55 a.m.

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