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

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.

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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