The earthquake hit this morning at a depth of just 10 kilometres and was centred 86 kilometres north-west of Iquique in northern Chile.
Interior minister Rodrigo Penalillo says the victims were four men and a woman who died in the cities of Iquique and Alto Hospicio, either of a heart attack or after being crushed by debris.
The first waves struck Chile’s northern coast within 45 minutes of the quake, with roads left gridlocked as Chileans abandoned their coastal homes for higher ground.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says the wave has been measured at 2.11 metres at its highest off Iquique.
UPDATE! A tsunami warning that had been in place for regions including Chile and Peru has now been cancelled, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology says there is no tsunami danger for Australia or New Zealand. Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet has declared parts of northern Chile to be disaster zones
UPDATE! March 3, 2014: A magnitude 7.8 aftershock has struck off northern Chile, just a day after a massive earthquake struck the region, the US Geological Survey – USGS – says. The navy declared a tsunami alert after the most recent quake, which was initially reported as being of magnitude 7.4 ::
A tsunami warning has been issued for Chile, Peru and Ecuador and a tsunami watch is also in effect for Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says the quake was very shallow, only 10 km below the seabed, which would have made it feel stronger. It was centred 86 km northwest of Iquique.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says the wave has been measured at 1.7 to 1.9 metres.
“An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicentre within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours,” it said.
“Authorities should take appropriate action in response to this possibility.”
Authorities in Peru have reportedly started evacuating communities in the southern coastal region of Ica
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says there is no tsunami danger for Australia or New Zealand.
In 2010, an 8.8-magnitude quake triggered a tsunami that caused major damage in several coastal towns in central-south Chile and killed hundreds of people.
Australian seismologist Jonathan Bathgate – from Geoscience Australia – says it’s difficult to predict how a tsunami would impact on the South American coastline.
“There’s certainly been waves detected on a number of dart buoys and tide gauges right throughout the area, but at this stage we’re still waiting to see the impacts of those waves on the coastline,” Mr Bathgate said. “It certainly is a significant wave arriving on the shore. Again, it is very difficult to say what the impacts from something like that could be basically because it can vary significantly along the coastline, depending on the local topography on the coast. We really do just have to wait to see what the impacts are from a wave of that size.”
The Chilean Red Cross says there is no major damage, and evacuation has been very smooth.
“We spoke to some of our local team members and they also talked about the slides, that the roads are blocked. But no major damage,” a Red Cross spokeswoman said from their Santiago offices. “The cities have a pretty decent-sized population. Their fifth-largest city is up there in the north. Right now there has been a 100 per cent prevented evacuation all along the country’s coastline. We hear that they have been very calm, very orderly evacuations.”
“People who have experienced past earthquakes…have reported feeling more prepared and have shown actions where they are more prepared. This is a very seismic country, so people are always kind of alert. People do seem more prepared and knowing to do this time around.” The Red Cross spokeswoman said.
Earthquake, Tsunami Facts:
- About 80% of tsunamis are caused by an earthquake at or below the seafloor.
- The earthquake causes a large area of the seafloor to either lift up or drop down.
- The ocean water above the displaced seafloor then rises or falls abruptly. This results in a tsunami wave on the surface of the ocean which travels out in all directions.
- The upthrust or downthrust of the ocean bottom can occur over hundreds of square kilometres. This pushes up the water above creating a huge mass of water like a hill.
- It may be hundreds of kilometres long and several kilometres from front to back.
- As the wave approaches shallow water the front of the wave slows down. The height of the water behind increases as it tries to catch up and leads to the wave breaking
UPDATE! March 3, 2014 via The Washington Post: Hard-won expertise and a big dose of luck helped Chile escape its latest magnitude-8.2 earthquake with surprisingly little damage and death.
The country that suffers some of the world’s most powerful quakes has strict building codes, mandatory evacuations and emergency preparedness that sets a global example. But Chileans weren’t satisfied Wednesday, finding much room for improvement. And experts warn that a “seismic gap” has left northern Chile overdue for a far bigger quake.
Chile is one of the world’s most seismic countries and is particularly prone to tsunamis, because of the way the Nazca tectonic plate plunges beneath the South American plate, pushing the towering Andes cordillera ever higher.
The U.S. Geological Survey said more than 60 significant aftershocks, including one of magnitude 6.2, followed the Tuesday night quake centered 61 miles (99 kilometers) northwest of Iquique. And seismologists warn that the same region is long overdue for an even bigger quake.:: Read the full Washington Post article »»»»
Chile Orders Evacuation After 7.8 magnitude Aftershock Triggers Local Tsunami Warning
UPDATE! March 3, 2014: A magnitude 7.8 aftershock has struck off northern Chile, just a day after a massive earthquake struck the region, the US Geological Survey – USGS – says.
The navy declared a tsunami alert after the most recent quake, which was initially reported as being of magnitude 7.4. Chile’s emergency office said it had ordered a preventative evacuation of the coastal area.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center – based in Hawaii – said there was no widespread tsunami threat, but the latest tremor could generate a local tsunami.
The quake, the largest of a series of aftershocks following the powerful and deadly 8.2 magnitude quake that hit yesterday, was located 19 kilometres south of the port of Iquique at a relatively shallow depth of 20 kilometres, the USGS said.
There were no immediate reports of injury or damage after the strong aftershock. Local media reported Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet was also evacuated from the Arica coastline following the aftershock.
Ms Bachelet had travelled to the region after declaring parts of northern Chile’s coastline a disaster area following yesterday’s earthquake.
Peru also issued a tsunami alert along its southern coast, the Peruvian Navy said via Twitter. There were no initial reports of damage in Peru.
Yesterday’s earthquake killed six people in Chile and triggered a tsunami that pounded the coast with two-metre waves.
More than 9,000 people were evacuated from the coast, and slept on hillsides away from the coast overnight. This morning thousands of people returned to their homes, where damage seemed mostly limited.
The USGS site lists a dozen aftershock ranging from 4.5 to 6.2 over the past 2 hours. Check the USGS map: earthquake.usgs.gov/map/ Admittedly, it’s a little freaky watching the map update quakes as they occur.
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Mass bird deaths have been happening with alarming frequency in recent years, as odd-animal-deaths go, birds seem to be the most common.
The New South Wales’ Environmental Protection Authority – EPA – is investigating the mass bird deaths near Dubbo, thought to have occurred during the past week. The affected species including native Australian breeds like the sulphur-crested cockatoo, galah and corella :: Read the full article »»»»
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Australians are among the worst offenders when it comes to illegal downloads, Senator Brandis is also apparently considering asking ISPs to block sites where content can be illegally downloaded.
Copyright holders like film and television and music studios have long argued that it is ISPs role to prevent internet users from illegally downloading their content.
The glitch in the plan might be a landmark High Court ruling in 2012, where the court found service provider iiNet wasn’t responsible for its customers’ illegal activities :: Read the full article »»»»
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The 77-year-old pontiff is a keen Twitter user whose account has attracted more than 10 million followers, check: twitter.com/Pontifex
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Michael’s time is spent making other folks land softly, easing their days, so they’re able to enjoy their evenings: He Likes To Worry!
Overtly fond of driven people, loves the energy, his client list is diverse, an English Brain Scientist, a Hotelier on the up, a PR firm and a half dozen special individuals. As well, he runs online campaigns for several brands, throws his fifty cents in for Unruly Media, takes on the odd guest editorial and lunches out in Melbourne every second day and can often be found walking The Tan, mumbling stories out loud.
“…what I like most about my world? The anonymity, I like that others get the kudos.”