Massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake hits southern Chile, tsunami warning issuedBy AP
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake hits Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile — A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake, capable of tremendous damage, struck southern Chile early Saturday, shaking buildings in the capital, where some buildings collapsed. A tsunami warning was issued.
The quake hit 197 miles (317 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Santiago, and at a depth of 36.9 miles (59.4 kilometers) at 3:34 a.m. (0634 GMT; 1:34 a.m. EST), the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Its epicenter was just 75 miles from Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, where more than 200,000 people live along the Bio Bio river, and 60 miles from the ski town of Chillan, a gateway to Andean ski resorts that was destroyed in a 1939 earthquake.
Buildings shook and collapsed in Santiago. Phone lines were down in the country, making confirmation of damage difficult, especially further south toward the epicenter. The quake was felt in Argentina as well.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for Chile and Peru, and a less-urgent tsunami watch for Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Antarctica.
“An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours,” the center said.
The U.S. west coast tsunami warning center said it did not expect a tsunami along the west of the U.S. or Canada but was continuing to monitor the situation.
Tags: Chile, Concepcion, Latin America And Caribbean, North America, Santiago, South America, United States