Huge 8.3 quake, over two dozen aftershocks shake Chile, trigger tsunami waves
A powerful 8.3 magnitude earthquake followed by a dozen strong aftershocks has struck off the coast of central Chile. Authorities have issued tsunami warning for the area, urging people along the coastline to evacuate.
“Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters … widespread hazardous tsunami waves are possible,” the Warning Center said, adding that greatest danger was for Chile and Peru.
Tsunami waves “along some coasts” of Chile could reach more than three meters above the tide level, PTWC warned. In Ecuador and Peru waves of up to one meter are possible.
The quake, which had originally been estimated as a magnitude 7.9, occurred at 7:54pm local time, 55 kilometers west-northwest of Illapel, and 232 kilometers north-northwest of Santiago, the USGS reported. Its epicenter center was located at a depth of 33 kilometers.
The earthquake prompted the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) to issue a tsunami alert for the entire coastline, as it urged people to “remain calm and go to the meeting points in security zones.”
At least ten people were killed and over 20 injured as a results of the quake in Chile. No disruption to basic services or infrastructure has been reported.
Chilean Interior Minister Jorge Burgos said at a press conference that the life in the affected area is going back to normal and called on the population to calm down ruling out fuel and food delivery interruptions, La Nacion reports. He added that it was one of the 30 most powerful earthquakes in the world history.
In Brazil, many people on social networks reported that they also felt a slight tremor. There are also reports coming from São Paulo, Santos, Campinas, Belém, São Luís and Pouso Alegre (MG). Firefighters from Sao Paulo received 50 calls from people who felt the quake, UOL News International reports.
In Argentina, internet users reported tremors in the cities of Santa Fe, Mendoza and Buenos Aires.