SANTIAGO, Chile -- A powerful earthquake shook Chile's capital Wednesday night, causing buildings to sway and people to take refuge in the streets. Several strong aftershocks hits within minutes as tsunami alarms sounded in the port of Valparaiso and authorities issued a tsunami alert for the country's entire coast.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.9. Chilean authorities recorded it as 7.2.
U.S. officials said the quake struck just offshore in the Pacific at 7:54 p.m. and was centered about 141 miles north-northwest of Santiago. It said the quake was 4.8 miles below the surface.
Chile's emergency office warned that big waves caused by the quake could hit the coast by 11 p.m.
The National Weather Service warning tsunami waves could strike Hawaii around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, local time.