A strong and prolonged earthquake of magnitude 6.5 has shaken central Chile. Authorities have ordered a preventative evacuation of parts of the coastline.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake’s epicentre was 50 km northeast of Valparaiso, Chile, and it had a depth of 25 km. It struck at just before midnight local time (9.20 a.m. Tuesday IST).

Residents say the quake was felt for almost a minute.

Authorities say the evacuation was ordered from the city of Constitucion to Tongoy.

Chile’s oceanography service discounted the possibility of a tsunami.

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