Additional tsunami warnings and watches have been issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for areas in the Pacific Ocean. Chile's National Emergency Office has asked everyone to evacuate the coast.
Warnings are now issued for Columbia and Panama as well as Chile, Peru and Ecuador. A Tsunami Watch has been issued for Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras as well as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.
Earlier tonight, an 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck Chile near the coast of Northern Chile. The epicenter was nearly 60 miles northwest of Iquique, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Sea level readings, according to the Center, have indicated that in fact a tsunami was generated.
The US National Tsunami Warning Center will monitor the situation as well. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also warns that Hawaii may be elevated to a watch or a warning. The Center estimates that if Hawaii sees tsunami waves, the earliest that would happen would be approximately 3:24 a.m. Wednesday.
So, what is a tsunami?
A tsunami is a series of waves in the ocean that usually occur after an earthquake, volcano or some other tectonic activity. It has nothing to do with the tides, so it does not matter if it is high tide or low tide. If a tsunami issued has been ordered, you need to get to higher grounds or evacuate completely.
It would not be unrealistic for a tsunami warning to be issued for Japan for tonight’s quake in Chile. Likewise, when the major quake struck Japan, the west coast of the US was issued tsunami warnings.
The warning signs are, to be honest, pretty obvious ones. They are a strong quake, a fast rise or fall in the coastal wasters, and a loud roaring sound from the ocean itself.
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