Chile earthquake
People are trying to find cover and move to safer places in Chile's coastal townsReuters

Chile was rocked by a strong earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale. The quake struck about 99 km from the coast of the port city of Iquique, triggering a tsunami alert.

Waves as high as seven feet were recorded in Iquique, and at least five people were killed in accidents caused by the earthquake. One person reportedly died of a heart attack, while others were crushed under falling walls and rubble. Three people who have been seriously injured were admitted to hospital.

Following frequent earthquakes in the region, Chile's President Michelle Bachelet has declared the northern region a disaster-prone area.

Tsunami warnings were scaled back six hours after the earthquake struck, but evacuation orders are still in place for the Pacific coast of Chile and the neighbouring Peru.

As news of the Chile quake came in, Twitter was bombarded with messages, especially from celebrities. One of the first celebrities to share her concern for Chile on Twitter was Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi who was born in the country.

Snooki (Nicole Polizzi)
Nicole "Snooki" PolizziREUTERS

There were many others who kept pouring out their reactions and prayers via Twitter. Here is what they are saying.