The northern coast of Chile was struck with an 8.2 magnitude earthquake, triggering a tsunami, say sources.
The quake, which also triggered landslides and set off a two-meter high tsunami, killed at least two people and seriously injured three.
According to stuff.co.nz, the governor of Iquique Gonzalo Prieto confirmed the deaths and injuries in an interview with a local radio station.
About 300 inmates escaped from a women's prison in the city of Iquique, and officials said Chile's military was sending a planeload of special forces to guard against looting.
Some roads in northern Chile were blocked by landslides, causing traffic jams among people leaving the coast.
Evacuations were also ordered in Peru, where waves 2m above normal forced about 200 people to leave the seaside town of Boca del Rio, the report added.