A tsunami alert has been announced Thursday for Chile's fourth and tenth regions following a magnitude 7.2 aftershock this morning.
Military officials called for evacuations of coastal inhabitants in the Coquimbo and Los Lagos regions.
The strong aftershock hit Chile at 11:39 a.m. local time and interrupted an inaugural ceremony of Chile's newly elected President Sebastián Piñera in Valparaiso. It has been the strongest aftershock since the magnitude 8.8 earthquake on Feb. 27.
Piñera urged people to follow tsunami alert instructions, during his inaugural speech today, the La Nacion newspaper noted.
The protection of life, people's integrity and the respect for each Chilean's dignity will mark the soul and heart of our future government, he said.
Chile's media reported that people in Costitucion and Valparaiso were scared and began to run to the mountains fearing a tsunami.
Some buildings were also evacuated in Santiago, the nation's capital.