The 8.3-magnitude tremor was centred off the coast, about 144 miles (232km) north-west of the capital.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned that "widespread hazardous tsunami waves are possible".
One person was killed by a falling wall, and evacuation was ordered in coastal areas. Tsunami sirens were heard in the port of Valparaiso.
The earthquake struck just off the coast at 19:54 local times (22:54 GMT), about 55km west of the city of Illapel, the US Geological Survey said.
Officials said it was at the depth of about 10km.