The quake was centered in Putre, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) east of the port of Arica near the border with Peru, and nearly 1,400 miles (2,200 kilometers) north of the capital, Santiago, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake happened about 9:30 a.m. and had a depth of about 70 miles (110 kilometers), the agency said.
Some people ran out of homes and churches into the streets when they felt the shaking, but there were no reports of injuries, Chile's national emergency agency said.
The agency said later that some adobe homes were damaged in the northern villages of Putre and Belen, and there were rock slides on a road that connects Chile to Bolivia.
Several quakes have rattled northern Chile recently, most of them with a magnitude of 5 or less.
Chilean and foreign scientists have warned that the region is long overdue for a significant quake.
The nation is prone to major earthquakes like the magnitude-8.8 temblor that shook central Chile on Feb. 27, 2010, generating a tsunami and killing 524 people.
Get automobile news and garbage compactor