Magnitude 5.6 quake strikes northern Chile

A magnitude-5.6 earthquake has struck Chile's northern Pacific coast, the US Geological Service (USGS) and Chilean authorities say.

The country's seismological centre CSN and USGS registered the earthquake at 2.11pm AEDT on Saturday, 44 kilometres southwest of Ovalle, in the northern region of Coquimbo.

Chile's coast lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is characterized by a high rate of seismic activity.