Powerful Earthquake off South American Coast Causes Tsunami Alarm, Evacuation

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 1 2014 9:18 PM

Powerful Earthquake off South American Coast Causes Tsunami Alarm, Evacuation

109421833-storyview-through-a-window-of-an-area-devastated-by-the
View through a window of an area devastated by the quake and tsunami of February 27, 2010 in the coastal city of Dichato, Chile.

Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

A powerful 8.0 earthquake hit off the coast of Chile on Tuesday triggering a tsunami warning all along Latin America’s coast, according to the BBC. Chile's National Emergency Office asked via Twitter that the country’s coastal residents evacuate, according to CNN.

Details are still a bit sketchy, but here’s more on the developing situation from the BBC:

[The USGS] said the quake was very shallow, only 10km below the seabed, which would have made it feel stronger. It was centred 86km (56 miles) north-west of the mining area of Iquique. The Chilean authorities have used TV to order the evacuation of coastal areas, urging citizens to escape speedily. A warning from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that the coasts of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua were all at risk of a tsunami. It warned that waves of up to 1.92m (6.3ft) could have struck near the town of Pisagua, Chile, within 44 minutes of the quake.
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ABC News reports that in 2010 “a magnitude-8.8 quake and ensuing tsunami in central Chile killed more than 500 people, destroyed 220,000 homes, and caused widespread damage to docks, riverfronts and seaside resorts.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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