A magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile on Tuesday and caused a large Tsunami and several landslides. Five people have died as a result of the earthquake, either from heart attacks or fallen walls. The landslides washed away homes and roads, making it hard for many people to evacuate the area or find help.
No significant damage has been reported in coastal areas in Chile, but power outages have occurred in many areas near where the quake, tsunami and landslides occurred. A prison break also occurred around the time of the tsunami and over 300 women escaped from a nearby prison. Many of them have already been captured and searches are underway for the rest of them.
The quake struck 61 miles northwest of the Chilean city of Iquique at 8:46 p.m. The first tsunami wave was reported by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center 45 minutes later. Coastal areas were evacuated as soon as the quake was reported.
Chile is the world’s No. 1 copper producer and there are numerous mines in the area. Mine owners confirmed that no workers were injured as a result of the earthquake and that no mines were damaged.
At least 10 strong aftershocks followed in the first quake, including a 6.2 tremor. Seismologists warn that aftershocks could continue for several hours and even days and that another massive earthquake could possibly occur as well.
Chile is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries and is often hit by strong quakes. Tsunami alert centers have been successful in helping people evacuate dangerous areas in time and saving lives. In 2010, an 8.8-magnitude quake triggered a tsunami that caused massive damage to several coastal towns in central-south Chile and killed 526 people.
Although some cleanup and repairs will be necessary, Chile is fortunate to have only suffered minor damage.
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