A magnitude 8.3 earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile shortly before 8 p.m. local time (7 p.m. EDT) on Wednesday, the United States Geologic Survey said. The quake was initially measured as an 7.9.
As of 1:08 p.m. HST, a tsunami watch has been issued for the state of Hawaii, the National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
Along some coasts of Chile, tsunami waves of more than 9 feet (3 meters) in height are possible, the PTWC said.
The temblor occurred 34 miles west of Illapel, Chile and 144 miles to the northwest of Santiago, Chile's capital.
The Associated Press reported that buildings swayed in Santiago and communications have been disrupted, but there have been no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Chile's Interior Minister Jorge Burgos said the Chilean government has ordered the evacuation of coastal cities.
Tsunami Info Stmt 2: M8.3 near the coast of central Chile 1555PDT Sep 16: Event is being reviewed to determine threat to CA,OR,WA,BC,and AK— NWS Tsunami Alerts (@NWS_NTWC) September 16, 2015
Currently the weather is dry across much of Chile, including near where the earthquake occurred, AccuWeather Meteroologist Jordan Root said. Patchy clouds are also in the area, he said.
"Dry weather will continue for the next few days," Root said, adding that temperatures are right around normal.