Residents sifted through the rubble of destroyed buildings in central Chile on Thursday after a magnitude-8.3 earthquake killed 12 people and sent powerful waves barreling into coastal areas, forcing more than 1 million people to flee from their homes.

Aftershocks shook the South American country following Wednesday's quake, the strongest in the world so far this year and the biggest to hit Chile since 2010. But some residents expressed relief that the destruction had not been greater.

In the northern port city of Coquimbo, where waves of up to 4.5 meters high (15 feet) slammed into the shore, large fishing boats washed up onto the streets and others splintered, littering the bay with debris.