The US government has cancelled a tsunami warning for all Pacific nations that had been issued in the wake of a 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile.

"The Pacific-wide tsunami warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is now cancelled for all countries," it said in a statement.

The quake that struck off the coast of Chile before dawn on Saturday killed more than 300 people and affected as many as two million as it left a trail of destruction through a swathe of central Chile.

One of the largest earthquakes on record, it sent tsunami waves crashing into coastal areas of the South American nation of 16 million people, and then roaring across the Pacific Ocean as far as New Zealand and Japan.

The center said that "additional destructive tsunami impacts" were "not expected for coastal areas not already affected."

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