Tsunami Hits Chile, 5 Dead in Magnitude-8.2 Quake - The New Indian Express

Tsunami Hits Chile, 5 Dead in Magnitude-8.2 Quake

Published: 02nd April 2014 10:31 AM

Last Updated: 02nd April 2014 10:42 AM

Tsunami waves generated by an earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter Scale that hit off the Chile coast Tuesday struck some areas in the north of the country.

The Chilean National Office for Emergency Tuesday organised an evacuation of more than 10,000 people in some coastal areas, but there are no immediate reports of casualties or damage, Xinhua reported.

According to the University of Chile Seismological Service, the major tremor hit off the Chilean coast at 8.46 p.m. (11.46 p.m. GMT) and the epicentre, with a depth of 44 km, is located 99 km northwest of the mining port of Iquique, near the border with Peru. 

The US Geological Survey initially reported the quake at 8.0 magnitude.

Chile's interior minister says the death toll has risen to five from a powerful earthquake that struck off northern Chile hours ago. The quake forced evacuations along the country's entire Pacific coast for fear of tsunamis.

Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo attributed the five deaths to heart attacks or being crushed.

Thousands have lost power, and hundreds of thousands of Chileans are spending the night away from their beds due to the evacuation order, which remains in effect for northern Chile.

Local radio reported that power went out and communications were affected in some parts of northern Chile while some roads and highways in northern Chile were blocked by landslides, causing traffic jams.

So far, at least 10 strong aftershocks, including a 6.2-magnitude tremor, have occurred.

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