Chile’s earthquake on Tuesday evening at 8:46 p.m. local time (7:46 p.m. ET) has triggered a tsunami. Tsunami warnings across the Pacific were in effect following the 8.2-magnitude Chile earthquake. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (TWC) issued an initial tsunami warning along the Pacific coastal areas for Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama, reports the BBC on April 1.
The tsunami triggered by the 8.2 earthquake in Chile occurred within 45 minutes of the quake which was centered 12.5 miles deep in the Pacific Ocean about 60 miles northwest of Iquique, Chile. Pisagua, Patache and Iquique all experienced high waves that hit the coast. Areas in coastal Chile were evacuated and residents relocated to higher ground. Chilean home office minister Mahmud Aleuy reported that “we have asked citizens to evacuate the entire coast... there is no serious damage to houses."
According to police, evacuations were also ordered in Peru, where waves of 6.5 feet above normal forced about 200 people to leave the seaside town of Boca del Rio near the Chilean border.
Tsunami watches were also initially put in place for Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said on Twitter that “everyone along our coast should be alert and ready." According to latest reports, the tsunami warnings and watches have been lifted for all except for Chile and Peru.
Following the 8.2-magnitude earthquake in Chile, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami advisory for Hawaii.
“BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A MAJOR TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED TO STRIKE THE STATE OF HAWAII. HOWEVER...SEA LEVEL CHANGES AND STRONG CURRENTS MAY OCCUR ALONG ALL COASTS THAT COULD BE A HAZARD TO SWIMMERS AND BOATERS AS WELL AS TO PERSONS NEAR THE SHORE AT BEACHES AND IN HARBORS AND MARINAS. THE THREAT MAY CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS AFTER THE INITIAL WAVE ARRIVAL. THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OF THE INITIAL WAVE IS 0324 AM HST WED 02 APR 2014.”
Chile’s 8.2-magnitude earthquake shook buildings in Chile, Peru and in Bolivia's high altitude capital of La Paz, which is more than 290 miles from the epicenter in Iquique. Time reports that the death toll is at five people. There were no reports of major damage or other serious injuries caused by the quake. Landslides have blocked roads, and 300 female prisoners were able to escape from a prison in Iquique. “The authorities are reported to have deployed a planeload of special forces to guard against looting.”