Chile earthquake triggers Tsunami
A general view of Iquique city from the top floor of a building during a vertical evacuation after a tsunami alarm at Iquique city, north of Santiago on the southern Pacific coast Reuters

At least five people have been killed in the powerful earthquake that struck Chile, triggering tsunami alerts along the Pacific coastline.

The deaths were either from falling debris or cardiac arrest following the 8.2-magnitude quake, which was followed by at least eight aftershocks.

The tremors triggered huge waves along parts of the coast. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has said a six-foot high tsunami hit Pisagua, Chile, at about 08:00am local time, nearly 45 minutes after the deadly quake.

Several tsunami alerts were initially issued including for Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. However the Center has since said that all warnings in the region, including for Peru and Chile, have been cancelled; the only alert which remains active covers the US state of Hawaii.

In its latest update, the agency said: "Sea level readings indicate a Tsunami was generated. It may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicentre.

"For those areas –when no major waves are observed for two hours after the estimated time of arrival or damaging waves have not occurred for at least two hours then local authorities can assume the threat is passed.

"Danger to boats and coastal structures can continue for several hours due to rapid currents."