Chilean authorities have ordered for evacuation of people from low-lying coastal areas after an powerful earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale jolted offshore Maule, at 22:37:04 GMT on Sunday, according to Xinhua.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter, with a depth of 10.00 km, was initially determined to be at 35.1160 degrees south latitude and 72.6580 degrees west longitude.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center ruled out a Pacific-wide tsunami but said a quake of this size may generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a hundred kilometers of the epicenter. It advised local authorities to take preventive measures.