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Tsunami alerts issued after earthquake in Chile

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Tsunami warnings and watches are in effect for affected areas following a magnitude 8.2 earthquake about 100 kilometres off the coast of northern Chile, the USGS confirmed Tuesday.

The earthquake struck just after 6 p.m. local time [USGS] and caused some damage on roadways linking northern cities like Iquique—a port city in northern Chile—ABC news reported.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center [PTWC] issued tsunami warnings for Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, and Panama. Watches are also in effect for Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras.

“This earthquake has generated a large tsunami in the source region,” the NTWC said. Waves were reported to be more than 1 metre high and as low as 1 foot.

Chile has a long history of earthquakes going as far back as 1900, a USGS map showed, including a magnitude 8.8 jolt on February 27, 2010, which killed at least 147 people.

At least 500,000 may have been exposed to strong shaking and light to moderate structural damage in the quake, the USGS estimated in a briefing.

A six-foot wave was said to have hit the port city of Pisagua just under two hours after the jolt, a Twitter update from ABC News said.

No other serious damage or casualties have been reported.

HISTORY:

“A recent increase in seismicity rates has occurred in the vicinity of the April 1 earthquake,” said a USGS briefing on the earthquake. “An M6.7 earthquake with similar faulting mechanism occurred on March 16, 2014 and was followed by 60+ earthquake of M4+, and 26 earthquakes of M5+.”

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