Devastating earthquake in Chile kills dozens, sparks tsunami warnings for dozens of countries

February 27th, 2010 - 7:32 pm ICT by BNO News  

Chile earthquake SANTIAGO, CHILE (BNO NEWS) — An extremely destructive earthquake struck near Concepcion, Chile on Saturday, seismologists said, possibly killing hundreds of people. Dozens of countries are under a tsunami warning.

The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 8.8, was centered about 60 miles northwest of Chillan and 200 miles southwest of Santiago, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at a depth of 21.7 miles at 03.34 a.m. local time.

A tsunami warning was immediately issued for the entire Pacific Ocean, even as far away as Japan, according to the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. A tsunami advisory was issued for the U.S. Pacific Coast, according to the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. More details on the tsunami threat can be found below.

The capital, Santiago, was without power and phone lines four hours after the earthquake. Reports say there are several buildings damaged in Greater Santiago. Santiago’s International Airport was closed and many flights were diverted to Mendoza in Argentina.

Chilean emergency services reported at least 78 people dead after the earthquake. Chilean state TV reported many injured. Bachelet said the government is working and trying to restore the communications.

The 2010 Chile earthquake is the second largest quake in the past 20 years, behind the 2004 Indian Ocean 9.1-magnitude quake.

As of 7.15 a.m. EST (12.15 GMT), the following regions were under a tsunami warning:

Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Antarctica, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Pitcairn, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Fr. Plynesia, Mexico, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Kermadec Islands, Niue, New Zealand, Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa, Jarvis Islands, Wallis-Futuna, Tokelau, Fiji, Australia, Hawaii, Palmyra Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Howland-Baker, New Caledonia, Johnston Islands, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Midway Islands, Kosrae, Papua New Guinea, Pohnpei, Wake Islands, Chuuk, Russia, Marcus Islands, Indonesia, N. Marianas, Guam, Yap, Belau, Japan, Philippines, Chinese Taipei.

If you are in one of those countries and are near the coast, you are advised to evacuate immediately and go to higher ground.

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