The tremor has triggered a tsunami, with waves currently reaching seven feet, according to the Chilean navy.

President Michelle Bachelet has declared a state of emergency throughout the country with some areas being categorised as disaster zones.

Huge landslides are blocking roads, preventing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people from Chile’s coastal areas.

Amid the chaos, 300 inmates have escaped from a women’s prison and thousands of homes have lost power, however Chile is well prepared for emergencies such as this one, since over 500 people lost their lives in February 2010 when an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country.

The quake happened at 8.46pm yesterday, as thousands of residents were arriving home after work.

Image credit: Getty