According to the USGS, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake has struck central Chile. The earthquake’s epicenter was located near the city of Concepcion.
8.8 is a huge number! I was hearing 8.3 at first, and that number was soon upgraded to 8.5. I can’t imagine what it must have been like. I remember the Loma Prieta quake in the Bay Area as being pretty big and that was only a 7.0.
A tsunami warning was issued for Chile and Peru by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, and a tsunami watch was issued for Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Antarctica.
I even read that a watch will be in place of the US West Coast but we’ll see if that watch is necessary in the coming hours.
From the Associated Press:
A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake capable of tremendous damage struck central Chile early Saturday, shaking the capital for a minute and half and setting off a tsunami. Buildings collapsed and phone lines and electricity were down, making the extent of the damage difficult to determine.
The quake hit 200 miles (325 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Santiago, and at a depth of 22 miles (35 kilometers) at 3:34 a.m. (0634 GMT; 1:34 a.m. EST), the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Its epicenter was just 70 miles (115 kilometers) 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. With phone lines down, confirmation of damage was difficult elsewhere, especially further south toward the epicenter. The quake was felt in Argentina as well.
From Fox News:
A Reuters witness reported shaking buildings and loss of electricity in Santiago, which is north of the epicenter.
The earthquake struck 56 miles northeast of Concepcion at a depth of 34 miles at 3:34 a.m./1:34 EST/0643 GMT. The quake was initially reported at a magnitude of 8.3.
The Reuters witness reported a very strong shaking lasted for 10 to 30 seconds.
The USGS said the earthquake struck 56 miles northeast of the city of Concepcion at a depth of 34 miles at 3:34 a.m./1:34 EST. Its magnitude was initially reported at 8.3 then 8.5.
An earthquake of magnitude 8 or over is classified as a “great” earthquake that can cause “tremendous damage,” according to the USGS website. The earthquake that devastated Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on January 12 was rated at magnitude 7.0.
According to a 2002 census, Concepcion is one of the largest cities in Chile with a population of around 670,000. The quake knocked out power in nearby coastal areas.