8.3 Magnitue Earthquake Shakes Chile's Capital Santiago, Tsunami Warning Issued

8.3 Magnitue Earthquake Shakes Chile’s Capital Santiago, Tsunami Warning Issued

A powerful earthquake has shaken Chile’s capital, causing buildings to sway and people to take refuge in the streets.


The US Geological Survey initially reported the quake at a preliminary magnitude of 7.9 but quickly revised the reading to 8.3.

US officials said the quake struck just offshore in the Pacific at 7:54 p.m. (6.54 p.m. EDT, 1154 GMT) and was centered about 141 miles (228km) north-north-west of Santiago.

It said the quake was 4.8 miles (5km) below the surface.

Chile’s emergency office warned that big waves caused by the quake could hit the coast by 11 pm.

Hazardous tsunami waves from the quake were possible along the coasts of Chile and Peru within the next several hours, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

A tsunami watch was issued for Hawaii.

The center said if tsunami waves impact Hawaii, the estimated earliest arrival time would be 2:28 am. Hawaii Standard Time (1228 GMT) on Thursday.

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, river fronts and seaside resorts.

That quake released so much energy, it shortened the Earth’s day by a fraction of a second by changing the planet’s rotation.

Chile is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries because just off the coast, the Nazca tectonic plate plunges beneath the South American plate, pushing the towering Andes cordillera to ever-higher altitudes.

The strongest earthquake ever recorded on Earth happened in Chile a magnitude-9.5 tremor in 1960 that killed more than 5,000 people.

 

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