updated 3/16/2014 6:29:50 PM ET 2014-03-16T22:29:50

Santiago (Reuters) - A strong quake struck off northern Chile on Sunday evening, triggering a preventive evacuation of part of the coastal area but apparently not causing any injuries or damage.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake was centered 40 miles northwest of Iquique and hit at a depth of 21 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami expected.

But Chile's navy said there was a possibility of a minor tsunami between the northern towns of Arica and Tocopilla, so authorities ordered a preventive evacuation of part of the coastline after the quake.

The ONEMI emergency office said that preliminarily no damage or injuries had been reported.

(Reporting by Peter Cooney; and Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Jim Loney and Chris Reese)

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