Tsunami in Chile

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Type of Event Ocean Wave (Tsunami)
Location of Event Chile
Date of Charter Activation 02 April 2014
Charter Requestor CONAE on behalf of ONEMI
Project Management

Description of the Event

An 8.2 magnitude earthquake occurred off the northern coast of Chile at 23:46 UTC (20:46 local time) on 01 April 2014. Chilean authorities issued a tsunami alert and thousands of people have been evacuated from coastal areas.

Following the earthquake waves up to 2.1 m struck areas along the coast, including the cities of Pisagua, Patache and Iquique. The government of Chile recommended that anyone on the coast should evacuate and tens of thousands of people have done so, retreating to higher grounds. Many people have spent the night in hills nearby.

Despite the evacuations, however, five people have been reported killed so far, due to the impact and destruction caused by the waves. Landslides have also occurred and some roads have been blocked by debris in addition to power lines being cut. It has also been reported that 300 prisoners escaped from a prison in Iquique.

Magnitude 8 earthquakes on the Richter scale are at the higher end of the scale, and often cause major damage to affected areas. Chile is located in the "Ring of Fire", an area of the Pacific Ocean basin that is seismologically active. This causes Chile to be prone to earthquakes and another powerful earthquake struck off the coat of Chile in 2010, resulting in devastation.

The tsunami warning was expected to last until 08:00 UTC on 02 April, and assessments of the damage and recovery will commence once the threat has passed.

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