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Page last updated at 09:14 GMT, Saturday, 27 February 2010

Major earthquake hits Chilean coast

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A massive magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck near the coast of south-central Chile in the early hours of Saturday, shaking buildings in the capital Santiago, 200 miles (320 km) away and triggering a tsunami along the coast.

The BBC's Buenos Aires correspondent Correspondent Candice Piete, who has been monitoring Chilean television, said that reports indicate the quake hit just after 0300 local time.

She added that electricity supplies and transport systems have been disrupted and that the tremor was felt right up the coast of Chile.

A government official was quoted as saying that people should remain in their homes after the most powerful quake to affect the country since 1985.

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