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.
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.
— Mike Hamernik (@MikeHamernik) September 17, 2015
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.