The quake struck off the coast of northern Chile, which caused damage. Panicked residents were urged to evacuate as a precaution. An aftershock, which measured 6.3 magnitude, followed within half an hour. The GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences reported aftershocks of around magnitudes 6.2 and 5.5.
It earlier showed the magnitude as 7 and 6.7, with the quake at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles).
It landed in the Ring of Fire, so-called because a huge number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place there.
People were woken from their sleep as the initial quake was felt across the region.
Damage and minor landslides were reported in areas near the epicentre of the earthquake.
Residents living near the coast were evacuated as a precaution.
There was no tsunami threat from the earthquake.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said: “Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake.
“No action is required.”
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The volatile Ring of Fire is a string of volcanoes and potential earthquake sites dotted around the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean.
In June, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Chile’s mineral-rich northern desert. Damage in that quake was minimal and mining companies said their operations had not been affected.
Mine facilities and other infrastructure in Chile are built to withstand extraordinarily large quakes.
Nearly 75 percent of the active volcanoes on earth are situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire and nearly 90 percent of the major earthquakes occur in and around this zone.
The Valdivia earthquake or the Great Chilean earthquake in May 1960 is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded after it measured at 9.4–9.6 on the moment magnitude scale.