Temuco Chile hit by strong earthquake

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Chile on Sunday, disrupting power lines and telecommunications service. The earthquake caused no injures but prompted tens of thousands of people to flee coastal areas out of fear of a subsequent tsunami, like the one that swept away entire villages last February.

The earthquake struck 45 miles northwest of Temuco at a depth of 10 miles, AFP reported. It struck Biobio, Maule and O'Higgins, a region affected by the 8.8-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that devastated Chile in February.

Watch this AP video on the earthquake:

Despite people's fears, officials said the earthquake was not likely to trigger another tsunami.

"Based on all available data, a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected," according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera gave an address to the nation, urging people to stay calm.

"There was an exercise of self-evacuation, which is exactly what we have asked people to do," he said. "Fortunately we do not have to lament accidents or losses of life."

The disaster caused by an earthquake and tsunami in Chile last February killed more than 500 people, left 200,000 homeless and caused about 30 billion dollars in damage.

Read more from GlobalPost about the February earthquake and tsunami.