Magnitude 8.3 Quake Hits Chile Coast Triggering Tsunami, Over 1 Million Evacuate

A powerful, magnitude 8.3 earthquake hit off the coast of Chile on Thursday, destroying buildings and forcing more than 1 million people to evacuate from their homes.

Chile Quake

The U.S. Geological Survey said the main quake struck just offshore at 7:54 p.m. Chile time (6:54 p.m. EDT in the U.S.) about 34 miles west of Illapel, Chile. The quake was so strong that its affects was felt across much of South America.

Widespread power outages have been reported throughout Chile, and over 1 million people had to leave their homes as a result of the quake. There are also widespread reports of cellular network outages and Chile’s emergency management network, Red Nacional de Emergencia, said cellular phone networks have “collapsed” in some regions.

The magnitude 8.3 quake lasted for three minutes, and caused a series of tsunami surges – some as high as 15ft. Tsunami warnings were triggered in Japan, New Zealand and Russia, and the US states of California and Hawaii.

According to the U.S. government’s National Tsunami Warning Center, tsunami waves arrived in the Hawaiian Islands this morning, with a magnitude of 3 feet measured at Hilo and 2.2 feet in Kahului, Maui. No damage was reported in Hawaii. After a night of over 40 intense aftershocks – one at magnitude 7 and seven that registered over magnitude 6 – Chilean residents woke up to major damage for hundreds of miles along the coast.

3 Comments

  1. JAS
    September 17, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Since this 8.3 quake hit last night at 6:54 EDT, there have been 50 more aftershocks ranging from 4.1 to 7.0 in the same immediate area. Imagine if this happened near a major US city. This is the biggest fear I have of a natural event in Florida. We don’t have earthquakes in Florida, but there are several areas around us that do. If we have a major quake on the Mid Atlantic ridge or the Caribbean plate, we could have a tsunami was over much of Florida. They claim this is not very likely, but do have tsunami alarms in the ocean in that area.

    • B from CA
      September 18, 2015 at 3:14 am

      I’ve experienced many earth quakes. Hollywood has done a good job of exaggerating. Generally we in earth quake prone areas sleep thru most. Usually it’s a matter of “Did you feel that?”. Followed by “ya. It’s an earth quake, go back to sleep”.
      Of course every 90 to 100 years we get one that really shakes things up. Electricity off for days. One badly maintained freeway collapsed. Lots of problems. Punks feel powerless. So more than usual numbers of sexual assault/rape. Good idea to be prepared. You don’t realize how dark it is at night. When you live in the city, street lights keep the night lit. But after a big earth quake there are no street lights. I have night lights that come on automatically if electricity goes out. And I purchased flameless candles which stay on for six hours. I stagger them. So there is an ongoing prep. I have back up sets and batteries. And I have flashlights all over the house. Plus lamps.

      I stayed in Sunami territory for a year. At first I slept with my clothes and shoes on. So I could run up the hill to where the life preservers are. If you are really worried, I would buy a life preserver for each member of the family. Some kind of head protection might not hurt. I hope this helps.

      • JAS
        September 18, 2015 at 6:03 am

        Yep, most of us don’t think much about earthquakes like California people do. I used to travel all over the country for work and still remember the first trip to California. I happened to glance at the placard on the inside of the hotel room door and the first line was “In Case of an Earthquake”. It was like, oh yeah your in California now. A little unsettling to say the least for someone who had never been near an earthquake.

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