- Posted April 2, 2014 by
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8.2 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Chile, Threatens Tsunami
Tuesday evening, a large earthquake struck just off the coast of Chile, shaking the South American nation and it’s neighbors, and ultimately killing five.
The quake occurred just before midnight GMT, and was measured at 8.0 on the Richter Scale initially but later upgraded to a magnitude of 8.2. The quake, while off the northern coast of Chile, was strong enough to be felt in neighboring nations, it was reported to be felt in La Paz, Bolivia which is around 300 miles from the tremor’s origin.
The earthquake took place in the ocean, 60 miles from the chilean coastal town of Iquique. Some damage was of course reported, yet the chilean government claims no major damage took place due to the quake. Still, the tremor caused landslides which blocked roads, some damage to airports, some buildings to fail, electrical outages, as well as several fires in Iquique. It was also reported that due to the earthquake some 300 inmates were able to escape from a women’s prison in Iquique.
The ocean-based tremor also resulted in waves along the coastal region nearing 6.5 feet in height. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre enacted a tsunami warning for the region, causing evacuations of coastal towns in Chile and Peru. However, the warning was later removed by the Centre when risk dropped.
The Chilean government also sent military personnel into the region after the quake to protect from looting.
The death toll of 5 is attributed to falling debris and cardiac arrest. However this count remains significantly smaller compared to that of the 2010 8.8 magnitude earthquake which struck central and southern Chile, causing around 500 fatalities.
A Hotbed Of Seismic Activity
Chile is known for its heavy seismic activity, often experiencing smaller quakes regularly, this tremor was also followed by aftershocks with magnitudes of 6.2 and 5.5. Chile also was struck by the worlds strongest recorded earthquake in 1960, measuring in at a 9.5 on the Richter Scale.
Despite this being a rather large earthquake, it could have been significantly worse, as seen by other recent damage from tremors in the region. However, scientists say they were expecting a large quake for Chile, yet this quake was the one. Scientists predict seismic activity closer to a 9.0 magnitude on the Richter Scale some time in Chile’s future, which could do significant damage to the region depending on its epicenter.