A magnitude 6.8 earthquake that shook Chile on Friday had the almost exact same epicenter as last years magnitude 8.8 devastating earthquake hit a year ago, according to the US Geological survey.
Building swayed in Santiago, the capital city of Chile. In Concepción, the second city, the lights went out. But Rodrigo Ubillo, the vice interior minister, said they had no reports of damage or injuries, and the navy had "totally discounted any risk of a tsunami."
Still, the strong earthquake frightened many Chileans, especially along the coast, where people quickly moved to higher ground.
"There was a preventive self-evacuation," said Vicente Nuñez, who directs the National Emergency Office, ONEMI. But he said Chileans could safely return home.
Residents fled their homes in Talcahuano, a port city whose center was ravaged last year by huge walls of water that sent shipping containers and fishing boats into downtown buildings and streets, municipal spokesman Javier Gonzalez told The Associated Press.
Skyscrapers swayed in the capital of Santiago, and in the inland town of Cauquenes, mothers ran into the streets carrying babies in their arms.
The earthquake struck offshore, about 30 miles (45 kilometers) north of the city of Concepcion. The epicenter was relatively close to the coast, at 36 degrees south latitude and 73 degrees west longitude -- almost exactly where the Feb. 27, 2010 earthquake was centered. Friday's quake was half as deep, at 11 miles (18 kilometers), as the devastating temblor of Feb. 27, 2010.
And while last year's massive quake killed at least 521 people and left 200,000 homeless, this time it seemed that Chile emerged relatively unscathed.
People in Talcahuano weren't taking any chances in any case. The compact city center is at the base of a bay and surrounded by hills, forming a bowl where the ocean drained and then came back with a vengeance last year.
Friday's quake caused a blackout in Concepcion, another city still recovering from last year's disaster. And across the country, Chileans jammed cell phone networks trying to make sure their families were OK.
In Cauquenes, a small town almost directly west of the epicenter, mothers ran into the streets carrying babies in their arms.
"I was really frightened. This is one of the strongest replicas we've had since last year's earthquake," said Ana Alarcón, who closed her small shop and took her two children in a search for her husband, who she couldn't reach by phone.
Chile is still recovering from the devastating earthquake that hit in 2010 rating a magnitude 8.8, that lasted up to 3 minutes, killed 521 people and left more than 200,000 homeless.
The Associated Press contributed to this content.