7.6 magnitude earthquake shakes chile on christmas day, no deaths reported- a major 7.6 magnitude earthquake shook southern chile on sunday, prompting thousands to evacuate coastal areas, but there were no immediate reports of deaths and only minor known damage. the u.s. geological survey said the magnitude 7.6 quake struck at 11:22 a.m. local time (9:22 a.m. est; 1422 gmt) near the southern tip of chile island, about 25 miles (39 kilometers) south-southwest of puerto quello and at a depth of 22 miles (35 kilometers). the area, some 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) south of the capital of santiago, is relatively sparsely populated. national emergency director ricardo toro told a news conferense that some 4,000 people were evacuated for fear of a possible tsunami following the quake, but the alert was eased about 90 minutes after the temblor. the quake disrupted christmas celebration plans for thousands of people who fled their homes on foot, in cars and on horseback, seeking higher ground amid torrential rains in some places as sirens warned of a potential tsunami. "there is no information of loss of life," toro said, though he said some highways were damaged. the local electric company reported that power was cut to about 22,000 customers. though there were dozens of weaker aftershocks, damage was concentrated along a highway that runs across chile island, where traffic was shut in one section and on smaler roads and bridges. local television showed damage to some homes, especially in quellon and surrounding areas. a much stronger magnitude 8.8 earthquake in february 2010 generated a tsunami and kiled 524 people in chile.