A massive earthquake of magnitude 8.2 struck off northern Chile’s coast on Tuesday evening, resulting in a tsunami and warnings of more to come.
Tsunami warnings were issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center/NOAA/NWS for Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama. A tsunami watch was placed in effect for Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica.
According to the USGS, the earthquake struck 62 miles from Iquique, Chile. Atsunami was generated from the quake, sea level readings suggest. A 6.9-foot wave was reported off Iquique.
Evacuations have been ordered for coastal areas, and there are no immediate reports of damage or injuries, the Associated Press reports.
A tsunami bulletin warned: “An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours.” Click here for the latest warnings from NOAA’sNational Weather Service.
Chile earthquake: At least 4 aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 and higher have been reported. http://t.co/kaWDyWyKtF
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 2, 2014
AP story continues below:
A tsunami was expected to reach nearby cities throughout the night, and local TV images showed residents evacuating calmly. Chile’s Emergency Office said a large tsunami wave was expected to hit the island of Juan Fernandez just before midnight local time.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert for all of Latin America’s Pacific coast.
Chile is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. A magnitude-8.8 quake and ensuing tsunami in central Chile in 2010 killed more than 500 people, destroyed 220,000 homes, and washed away docks, riverfronts and seaside resorts.
The strongest earthquake ever recorded on Earth also happened in Chile — a magnitude-9.5 tremor in 1960 that killed more than 5,000 people.
Hundreds of earthquakes have shaken Chile’s far-northern coast in the past two weeks, keeping people on edge as scientists said there was no way to tell if the unusual string of tremors was a harbinger of an impending disaster.
The unnerving activity began with a strong magnitude-6.7 quake on March 16 that caused more than 100,000 people to briefly evacuate low-lying areas, although no tsunami materialized and there was little physical damage from the shaking.
This story is developing.
Source: Huffington Post