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Powerful earthquake rattles Chile

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Powerful earthquake rattles Chile; tsunami warning issued

(CNN) -- An magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck central Chile early Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake's epicenter was located near the city of Concepcion, 212 miles (341 kilometers) from the capital of Santiago. It struck at 3:34 a.m., when people were sleeping.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for Chile and Peru. The center recorded a tsunami wave as high as 9 feet.

"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours," the National Weather Service said in a statement.

Alessandro Perez, who is staying at the Santiago Marriott Hotel, reported shattered windows, but there was no structural damage. No one at the hotel was injured, he said.

iReport.com: Did you feel it? Share information, images with CNN

Anita Herrera, who works at the Hotel Kennedy in Santiago, said electricity was knocked out at that hotel and guests were nervous.

"Our hotel is built for this," she said. "In Chile, this happens many times."

Chile holds the record for the largest earthquake in the world, according to the USGS. A magnitude 9.5 quake struck the South American country in May 1960 and killed 1,655 people.

Source: CNN

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