Chile earthquake triggers Tsunami
A fishing boat which has run aground while moored in the port of Coquimbo during the earthquake on September 17, 2015. MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

The Chilean government has declared a state of emergency in Coquimbo after it was struck by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake that killed 11 people and saw 1 million people being evacuated on Wednesday night (16 September).

After shocks however continue to hit central Chile, with a minor tremor registering 3.8 Richter hitting18km southwest of Canela Baja, according to the National Seismological Centre.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said a lower intensity earthquake was felt at 9.11pm in the regions of Coquimbo and Valparaiso. Initial reports say that there have been no damage or injuries reported.

A Tsunami warning was issued when the first earthquake hit on Wednesday but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said in a final Tsunami threat message that the threat has now largely passed.

The BBC said that the coastal town of Coquimbo saw waves of 4.7m hitting the shore, with small tsunami waves hitting as far as Alaska as a result of the earthquake.

it said large parts of the sea front in the fishing village of Tongoy were destroyed and more than 500 homes badly damaged across the region while close to 90,000 homes remain without power supply.

The declaration of a state of emergency gives the government special powers that will allow for aid to be deployed to the area faster and for troops to be deployed to ensure security and to prevent looting.

Reuters said that large fishing boats were washed up onto the streets of Coquimbo, with other splintered vessels littering the bay with debris.

"We lost it all. It was horrible. I don't know how I got out of there," Hilda Zambra, a 79-year-old woman whose home in Tongoy, a beach town 40km south of Coquimbo was destroyed by waves.

President Michelle Bachelet who visited the area, said that the death toll "while unfortunate, was not very high considering the strength of the earthquake."

The earthquake struck as thousands of Chileans were travelling to the coast ahead of a week of celebrations for independence day. Bachelet said some official festivities will be cancelled.

Copper production resume

Meanwhile Chile, which is the world's top copper producer, accounting for a third of global copper output, saw most of its copper mines unaffected by the earthquake.

State copper miner Codelco said that it had restarted operations at its open-pit Andina mine and its Ventanas smelter while London-listed Antofagasta PLC said it was inspecting installations at its flagship Los Pelambres copper mine. It hopes to gradually resume operations in the afternoon. Los Pelambres is the closest major mine to the quake epicentre, Reuters said.

Chile's state oil company ENAP said its two oil refineries were operating normally after earlier disruptions and that fuel stocks were safe.

However, Reuters noted that one port used for exporting copper and other natural resources was completely shut down on Thursday and three others closed for smaller vessels, suggesting that trade flows may be interrupted.