7.9 magnitude earthquake at northern Chile

At least eight people have been killed in a powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake which struck northern Chile.

Three people died as buildings collapsed and another five were killed when their vehicle was hit by a falling boulder, officials said.

In the coastal town of Iquique, hundreds of people ran into the streets fearing collapses and even a &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/397/14839_Tsunami.html ' target=_blank>tsunami.

The &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/accidents/21/97/385/14287_quake.html ' target=_blank>earthquake, which lasted nearly a minute, was also felt in neighboring Bolivia and Peru, tells BBC News.

The powerful quake struck at 6:44 p.m. ET (10:44 p.m. GMT) and was centered in the northern region of Tarapaca near the Bolivian border, about 112 kilometers (70 miles) east-northeast of Iquique, a Chilean city of more than 200,000 residents.

The Interior Ministry said one person was killed in the town of Sibaya near the epicenter and that 17 homes were destroyed in the nearby town of Chuzmiza.

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