SANTIAGO: A strong 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile early on Saturday but there was no tsunami alert, seismologists said. The quake hit the central Coquimbo region at a depth of 36 kilometers (22 miles) at 4:31 a.m., the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert. The epicenter was close to the coast, 47 kilometers from the northern city of Ovalle and nearly 300 kilometers north of Chile’s capital Santiago. Chile is no stranger to earthquakes. In September, the same area of the country was hit by an 8.3-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that left 15 dead and over 16,000 homeless.