8.2 earthquake strikes Chile

8.2 earthquake strikes Chile

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 2 at 9:29 AM

SANTIAGO, Chile -- A powerful magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck in off Chile's northern coast Tuesday night, causing landslides and setting off a tsunami that forced an evacuation of coastal areas. Currents reports say five are known dead and at least three injured. Extent of damage is unknown, but buildings shook in nearby Peru and in Bolivia's high altitude capital of La Paz.

Tsunami warnings and watches had been issued shortly after the earthquake was reported. However, after 10 p.m. PST, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled its Tsunami warnings and watches.

U.S. officials say they found no threat of a tsunami along the coasts of Alaska, California, Oregon or Washington after the earthquake though Oregon could see a water rise of one to six inches between 6am and 730am.

In Hawaii, sea levels changes along with strong currents could endanger boaters, swimmers and those close to shore.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake with a magnitude of 8.2 struck in an area that has been rocked by numerous quakes over the past two weeks. Aftershocks followed, including a magnitude-6.2 tremor and a 5.5 quake.  

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck 61 miles (99 kilometers) northwest of the city of Iquique at 8:46 p.m., shaking a region that has been rocked by numerous quakes over the past two weeks.

Coastal residents of northern Chile evacuated calmly as waves measuring almost 2 meters (6 1/2 feet) struck ahead of a tsunami that was expected to come ashore later. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert for all of Latin America's Pacific coast.

Chile's Emergency Office said a large tsunami wave was expected to hit Robinson Crusoe island and others in the Juan Fernandez archipelago just before midnight local time.

Chile's emergency service reported some roads blocked by landslides caused by the quake, but said no injuries had been reported so far.

An official at Peru's civil defense office said evacuations were underway on that country's coast. The official, who did not give her name, said there were no immediate reports of damage.

Police officer Alejandro Rosado in a Tacna, a Peruvian town near the coast, said no damage or injuries had been reported there.

Read: Tsunami Watches and Warnings from NOAA

Read Event Report: NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

USGS report rating quake at 8.2 magnitude

Chile is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries.

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, riverfronts and seaside resorts.

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

Hundreds of earthquakes have shaken Chile's far-northern coast in the past two weeks, keeping people on edge as scientists said there was no way to tell if the unusual string of tremors was a harbinger of an impending disaster.

The unnerving activity began with a strong magnitude-6.7 quake on March 16 that caused more than 100,000 people to briefly evacuate low-lying areas, although no tsunami materialized and there was little physical damage from the shaking.

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