Chile earthquake has affected more than two million peopleMore than two million people have been affected by what international media and records have described as one of the five strongest earthquakes ever on record.
The devastating quake, thousands of times stronger than the one that hit Haiti, struck central Chile on February 27 2010.
But as the first realisation of destruction passed around the world, through television and the internet, the world subsequently prepared itself for the devastating waves that threatened the entire Pacific Rim. About 50 countries on the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to Russia expected giant waves, in an anticipation of what occurred during the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster which killed more than 220 000 people in December 2004.
But the tsunami waves did not prove to be as high or as destructive as some had expected.
"The power of nature has again struck our country," Chilean president Michelle Bachelet said, cited by international media.
"We are once again put to the test, our ability to deal with adversity and get back on our feet. And we are examining every way to restore all the basic services in the country. But there's still a lot to do" Ms Bachelet said
She said that six of Chile's 15 regions are currently declared "catastrophe zones" in the aftermath of the quake.
it is apparent that Chile is coping considerably better with the disaster than Haiti.
BBC World Service reported that Chilean authorities had declined international assistance for now, saying they can cope with the situation, although "international aid is ready/or is being prepared to be dispatched if needed".
There are no reported Bulgarian casualties in the quake, or in the tsunamis that followed.
"This is a catastrophe of immense proportions, so it will be very difficult to give precise figures," Chile interior minister Edmundo Perez Yoma told CNN.
The 8.8 quake - one of the biggest ever - triggered a tsunami that has been sweeping across the Pacific, although waves were not as high as predicted.
Japan is still on high alert, with hundreds of thousands of people advised to evacuated areas at risk.
The 8.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Chile early Saturday, while most residents were sleeping. Reports say buildings shook while others collapsed as power went out in Santiago and other settlements in the area, 320km northeast of the quake's epicenter. Other parts of South America also felt the earthquake
Several strong aftershocks have followed the quake, including one with a 6.9
The largest earthquake ever recorded struck the same area of Chile on May 22 1960. The magnitude-9.5 quake killed 1655 people and left two million homeless. The tsunami that it caused killed people in Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines and caused damage to the west coast of the United States.