8.8 Magnitude Quake Hits Chile

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UPDATE: 7:42 a.m. — Evacuation sirens will be sounded across Hawaii at 6 am, local time

UPDATE: 6:19 a.m. — Just issued a Tsunami ‘Advisory’ for the west coast of the United States for California, Washington, coastal Alaska, and Oregon

UPDATE: 4:35 a.m. — Tsunami warnings — Warnings from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
AP~~SANTIAGO, Chile – A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, collapsing buildings, killing at least 16 people and downing phone lines. President Michele Bachelet declared a “state of catastrophe” in central Chile and said the death toll was rising.

Tsunami warnings were issued over a wide area, including South America, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, Russia and many Pacific islands.

“We have had a huge earthquake, with some aftershocks,” Bachelet said, appealing from an emergency response center for Chileans to remain calm. “Despite this, the system is
functioning. People should remain calm. We’re doing everything we can with all the forces we have. Any information we will share immediately.”

Bachelet said early reports were that 16 people had been killed, and “without a doubt, with an earthquake of this magnitude, there will be more deaths.”

In the 2 1/2 hours following the 90-second quake, the U.S. Geological Survey reported 11 aftershocks, of which five measured 6.0 or above.

She urged people to avoid traveling in the dark, since traffic lights are down, to avoid causing more fatalities.

he quake hit 200 miles (325 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Santiago, at a depth of 22 miles (35 kilometers) at 3:34 a.m. (0634 GMT; 1:34 a.m. EST), the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The epicenter was just 70 miles (115 kilometers) from Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, where more than 200,000 people live along the Bio Bio river, and 60 miles from the ski town of Chillan, a gateway to Andean ski resorts that was destroyed in a 1939 earthquake.

In Santiago, the capital, modern buildings are built to withstand earthquakes, but many older ones were heavily damaged, including the Nuestra Senora de la Providencia church, whose bell tower collapsed. An apartment building’s two-level parking lot also flattened onto the ground floor, smashing about 50 cars whose alarms and horns rang incessantly. A bridge just outside the capital also collapsed, and at least one car flipped upside down.

In the coastal city of Vina del Mar, the earthquake struck just as people were leaving a disco, Julio Alvarez told Radio Cooperativa in Santiago. “It was very bad, people were screaming, some people were running, others appeared paralyzed. I was one of them.”

Bachelet said she was declaring a “state of catastrophe” in 3 central regions of the country, and that while emergency responders were waiting for first light to get details, it was evident that damage was extensive.
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3 Comments

Filed under California, Chile, Disaster, Hawaii, Tsunami, Uncategorized

3 responses to “8.8 Magnitude Quake Hits Chile

  1. I woke up this morning thinking: ‘What would happen if anther disaster hits so close to Haiti”

    then I turned on the news…

    One of our best friends, Bernardo, is from Chile and most of his family is still there… we’re hoping of the best.

  2. thelcster

    what horrible news to wake up to… maybe now govs will start taking the planet’s changes more seriously. we need to make a change here or more people will needlessly suffer

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