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Magnitude 8.8 Earthquake Hits Chile – Tsunami Warning Issued

CHILE–(ENEWSPF)–February 27, 2010.  The U.S. Geological Survey has reported that an 8.8 magnitude earthquake has hit south of Chile’s capital around 3:30 a.m. local time.  Seventy-eight deaths have been reported and it is anticipated that the toll could rise.  Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet has declared a “state of catastrophe.”

Santiago’s airport is closed, and all flights are being diverted to Mendoza in Argentina.  According to the BBC, landlines are down but mobile phones with 3G Internet capacity are still working.  A survivor reported to the BBC that the “roads are mad with traffic and everyone is out in the streats fearing aftershocks.”

It has also been reported that the earthquake created a huge wave at least four feet higher than normal along Chile’s coast near the epicenter close to Concepcion, the country’s second-largest city having a population of approximately 200,000 residents.  Residents have been advised that if there are more aftershocks, people in coastal areas should try to move to higher ground.

A tsunami warning is in effect for:

  • Chile
  • Peru
  • Ecuador
  • Columbia
  • Antarctica
  • Panama
  • Costa Rica
  • Nicaragua
  • Pitcairn
  • Honduras
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • French Polynesia
  • Mexico
  • Cook Islands
  • Kiribati
  • Samoa
  • Jarvis Island
  • Wallis-Futuna
  • Tokelau
  • Fiji
  • Australia
  • Hawaii
  • Palmyra Island
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Howland-Baker
  • New Caledonia
  • Johnston Island
  • Solomon Island
  • Nauru
  • Marshall Island
  • Midway Island
  • Kosrae
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Northern Marianas
  • Guam
  • Yap
  • Belau
  • Japan
  • Philippines
  • Chinese Taipei.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center indicates that a tsunami has been generated that could cause damage along coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii.  It is estimated that the arrival time in Hawaii of the first tsunami wave is 11:19 a.m. HST today.

 

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey & Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

 

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