According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake hit off the coast of Northern Chile approximately 61 miles northwest of Iquique and was felt in Bolivia and Peru.
Waves measuring 6 ½ feet struck cities along the northern coast causing a landslide.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami alert for Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama. Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras are under tsunami watch.
"Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated. It may have been destructive along coasts near the epicenter and could also be a threat to more distant coasts," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
The center states that there is no imminent tsunami threat to California, Oregon, Washington, or Alaska but advises that those areas are still being evaluated.
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center geophysicist Gerard Fryer stated Hawaii residents might want to avoid the beach.
El Mercurio, a Chilean national newspaper, reports that an air traffic control tower at the Iquique airport has suffered some damage.
Chilean Deputy Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy stated that there are no reports of major damage or deaths.